It’s the end of an era for a Kobalt Music original. Sas Metcalfe, the company’s first employee and longtime chief creative officer, will be stepping down effective Feb. 28, it was announced on Thursday (Jan. 26). The North Wales native possesses a creative taste that is “second to none,” commented founder and chairman Willard Ahdritz, who hired her in 2001, and has “built a great spirit in her team because she is happy to share success.”
The Metcalfe-led global creative team is almost 70% female, according to the company, and is responsible for signing a roster that currently includes such hitmakers as Max Martin, Lorde, Ozuna, The Weeknd, The Chicks, Finneas, Diplo, Gunna, Karol G and many more.
“When I look back, I’m in awe of how much great music the Kobalt creative team has ushered into the world,” said Metcalfe. “But what makes me most proud is working alongside so many talented music lovers and helping them develop into great creative and A&R minds – I’d argue they are some of the best in the music industry today.”
Metcalfe’s music business journey began in the early 1980s with a marketing assistant job at CBS Records in London. She later got the A&R bug thanks in part to working as a scout at Rocking Horse Records before a three-year stint as an A&R manager at Arista Records. Nine years at Warner Chappell followed, where she signed Radiohead and Dido as head of A&R, before taking a similar post at EMI Records in 1998. She joined Kobalt, again, as Ahdritz’s first hire, three years later. “It’s amazing how far we’ve come in over 20 years together,” he said.
Added Kobalt CEO Laurent Hubert, “Simply put, Sas is one of a kind. Her impact in the music industry and at Kobalt is undeniable, as she nurtured and managed not just amazing songwriters but also built one of the best global creative teams in the industry. The work that Sas has done at Kobalt will be felt for many years to come. We thank Sas for her extraordinary contribution to making Kobalt what it is today.”
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