David Renzer Leaving Post as UMPG Chairman and CEO

David Renzer

Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO David Renzer announced today (4/26) his plans to exit the company. He has been with the publisher 15 years, starting in 1996 with MCA Music Publishing. Renzer was promoted to his current post in 2004.

He shared the news of his departure with staffers today via a lengthy email. He says in the letter that he always viewed age 50 as a milestone, and now at age 51 he wants to devote more time to philanthropic endeavors and “exciting entrepreneurial options.”

“For 15 years I’ve worked 24/7 to build UMPG into the industry’s leading music publishing company,” Renzer told MusicRow. “During that time, I shepherded the company through the purchases of Polygram, Rondor and BMG Music—three of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the music publishing industry.  I worked hard to recast and expand the role of the music publisher, and to collaborate with our companies around the globe in confronting the challenges facing our industry. With UMPG now the industry leader globally, and with an executive team that I believe is second to none, the time feels right to now enjoy more time with family and explore other personal and professional activities. I leave UMPG knowing that the company remains in great hands, with a remarkable catalog and artist roster. I will treasure the relationships I’ve built over the years, with executives and songwriters. This has truly been the most fulfilling work experience of my career.”

The official response from UMG is, “David has informed us that after 15 years running UMPG, a period of remarkable growth for the company which saw it become the industry leader, it is time for him to re-balance his life, spend more time with his family, and concentrate on personal priorities. While we are sorry to see him go, we respect his decision. David has done a monumental job running the company, and we will miss his dedication, creativity, vision and work ethic. UMPG is now an industry leader in Pop, Urban, Latin, Country, Classical, Christian and Production music–with an incredible team of executives around the world. We are poised for exciting growth and creative excellence in the years to come.”


Biography: At the helm of the leading global music publishing operations, David Renzer, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), is responsible for overseeing the activities of UMPG’s 57 offices in 47 countries.

Since Renzer joined the company (then called MCA Music Publishing) in 1996, UMPG has grown exponentially through direct signings and catalogue acquisitions, including the BMG Music Publishing, Zomba, Polygram and Rondor catalogues. UMPG is the global leader in the areas of Production Music, Christian/Gospel and Classical Music.

Major signings, renewals and deals under Renzer include: the catalogues of Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Justin Bieber, Florence & The Machine, Eminem, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, U2, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Owl City, Alex Da Kid, Tricky Stewart, Leon Russell, Desmond Child, Sean Garrett, Jamie Foxx, Ester Dean, T-Pain, Dave Grohl, The Killers, Juanes, Paul Simon, Bon Jovi, Beastie Boys, 50 Cent, Danny Elfman, the catalogues of Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Bernstein, Bee Gees, Glen Ballard, Cash Money and Notting Hill. Renzer was also responsible for deals with Holland Dozier Holland and the Henry Mancini catalogues, Film/ TV administration deals with Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Bros. Television, DreamWorks, as well the acquisition of Interscope Publishing, All Nations, Epitaph, Momentum, Forerunner, Marantha Music, EMack and the John Phillips catalogues.

In 2008, UMPG became the first major publisher to offer clients online access to royalty accounts with RoyaltyWindow.com. The ground-breaking royalty tool allows UMPG clients to access their royalty accounts via a secure web-based environment.

Renzer also started a Latin Music Division in 1996. Having won ASCAP’s Music Publisher of the Year four times, UMPG Latin America has concluded deals with: Juan Gabriel, Juanes, Rudy Perez, Gustavo Santaolalla, A.B. Quintanilla III, Jorge Luis Piloto, Wisin & Yandel, the catalogs of Gloria and Emilio Estefan and more.

Recent accolades for the company under Renzer’s leadership include: No. 1 Global Market Leader by Music & Copyright (a position the company has held since 2007); 152 nominations and 30 wins at the 52nd annual GRAMMY awards; Publisher of the Year at ASCAP London Awards; Songwriters of the Year and Song of the Decade at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards; Publisher of the Year, Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year at the SESAC Country Awards; Publisher of the Year at BMI Christian Music Awards; Producer of the Year at BMI Urban Awards; and Best Songwriter, Best Song, and Most Performed Song at the Ivors to name a few in 2010 to date.

Renzer began his career at Zomba Music Publishing, where he rose to SVP and GM. During his decade-long career there, Renzer helped Zomba achieve ASCAP’s R&B Publisher of the Year and Pop Publisher of the Year awards.

Renzer sits on the Boards of ASCAP, NMPA, the International Music Publishers Association and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Music and Entertainment Division of the City of Hope, and founded Songs of Hope, raising over $1,750,000 for the City of Hope Hospital. He also founded the “Songs of Hope” events benefiting City of Hope, which has raised over $1.75 million to date for the charity.

Renzer received his B.A. from N.Y.U.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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