Last month, Executive Director John Simson announced to the SoundExchange Board that he would be leaving the role he’s held for the past ten years in order to return to his creative roots. The Board has requested that he remain in his current position until a successor can be found and Simson said he would he would be pleased to assist in the
transition to new leadership.
“After ten years of working with digital services, we’ve achieved many of our important goals,” Simson says. “We’ve established fair rates for performers and labels and built the largest performer and recording label society in the world. It is time for me to return to different creative pursuits that I‘ve been putting off these past few years. This has been a thrilling journey, blazing a brand new path, but I know I’m leaving a strong organization poised for continued success.”
Simson also informed the Board that the second quarter distribution would be the largest in the organization’s history.
“In the past 10 months we’ve distributed over $220 million to artists and labels and this will only continue to grow in the coming months and years,” Simson adds.
“For the last ten years and more, John Simson has been a critically important force for uniting artists, session performers, indie labels and major labels as we worked together for our common good,” says American Federation of Musicians International President Thomas F. Lee. “We are grateful to him for all his pioneering work.”
Simson, the first full-time employee of SoundExchange, was hired to launch the new collecting society in 2000. As a manager in the 1990’s, Simson had assisted in the lobbying to pass the Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recording Act of 1995 and a terrestrial performance right has been a key goal all throughout his career working as an artist manager.
“We are hopeful that we will finally get what’s rightfully owed to America’s recording artists and copyright owners,” Simson says. “I’ve told the Board that I will be there to finish this task whenever required.”
Simson was instrumental in making SoundExchange an independent, free-standing non-profit trade association governed by a Board of 18, an equal number of artist and label representatives.
“John and his team have built from nothing, the first true coalition of artists and indies and majors working towards the same goal,” said Tom Silverman, founder of Tommy Boy Records and SoundExchange Board member. “The many hurdles they have overcome and the momentum that SoundExchange enjoys are a tribute to his hard work and vision.”