Kobalt has announced the promotions of Jesse Willoughby as SVP of Business Development and Stephanie Cox as General Manager of the company’s Nashville office. Willoughby will be responsible for the strategic growth of Kobalt’s catalog via acquisitions, partnerships, and high-value direct signings across all genres and markets. In her new position, Cox will oversee and manage Kobalt’s Nashville creative team and the office’s daily operations.
Willoughby joined Kobalt in 2014 as Director of Business Development for Kobalt Neighbouring Rights out of their LA office, growing the business significantly over the next two years with signings including Calvin Harris, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Shakira, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lukas Graham, A$AP Rocky among many others. After relocating to the Nashville office in 2015, he transitioned into the GM role of Kobalt Nashville in 2016, overseeing the day to day operations and management of Kobalt’s Nashville business.
Under Willougby’s leadership, Kobalt’s Nashville footprint experienced incredible growth, securing such high profile deals and partnerships including Dierks Bentley, SMACK Songs, Little Louder Music founded by Eric Church and Arturo Buenahora, Young Guns, Ben Simonetti, Gordie Sampson, Tommy Lee James, Michael Hardy through Relative Music, and BOOM Music with Keith Urban and Ross Copperman. In addition, Willoughby secured deals with up and coming artists such as Patrick Droney, Petey Martin, Jillian Jacqueline, Devon Gilfillian and Rainbow Kitten Surprise, among others.
“Jesse has been instrumental in establishing Kobalt as a top publisher in the Nashville community. We are excited for him to take on this new role where he will undoubtedly use his expertise and relationships to continue to drive Kobalt’s roster on a global level,” says Chief Experience Officer of Kobalt, Jeannette Perez.
“It’s been an honor to head the Nashville office for the last 5 years, I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve during that time,” Willoughby shares. “I am looking forward to this new challenge and opportunity to further Kobalt’s growth and impact on a global scale.”
Cox started her career at Little Big Town Music, where she learned the art of developing songwriters and identifying career-defining songs for artists. She continued honing her skills at Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Entertainment where she was instrumental in establishing the successful career of Grammy award-winning Mark D. Sanders. She went on to run the creative team at MCA Music and helped them win ASCAP’s prestigious Publisher of the Year award. After, Cox branched out to form Larga Vista Music where she achieved success with multiple No. 1 records with George Strait, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, and The Band Perry.
Previously, Cox was SVP, Creative where she helped build the company’s presence and roster in Nashville. Most recently she was instrumental in the signing and development of hit songwriter and recording artist Hardy.
“Since joining Kobalt in 2011, Stephanie has been a key player in the growth and success of Kobalt Nashville. Stephanie is known in the community to be a creative force,” says Perez. “We’re confident her leadership will be critical in the further growth of Kobalt Nashville for our team, songwriters and partners.”
“I am thrilled to continue my career with one of the most innovative and progressive publishers in the world,” says Cox. “Getting to work with our amazing global creative staff and lead our Nashville office is an amazing opportunity and I am excited for the future.”
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