Cindy Mabe has been appointed Chair and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, effective April 1, 2023. She will succeed Mike Dungan, who will retire from his position at UMG Nashville after more than a decade there and a total of four decades in the music industry.
During her tenure at UMG, Mabe has helped guide and grow the careers of some of country music’s biggest stars, including Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Jordan Davis, Mickey Guyton, Sam Hunt, Alan Jackson, Parker McCollum, Reba McEntire, Kacey Musgraves, Jon Pardi, Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Brothers Osborne and Little Big Town, among countless others. She has earned multiple honors, including the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum Award and the SOURCE Hall of Fame Award.
Of the announcement, Mabe shares, “For the past 15 years, Mike Dungan has been my mentor and partner. He has built one of the most enduring and impactful legacies in country music history. He’s also been my friend. I’m grateful for the chance he took on me and so very proud of what we have built together over those 15 years with our staff and the most enviable roster in music.
“To now be in a position, as Mike’s successor, to advance the musical and cultural impact of Universal Music Group Nashville into the future is truly a humbling honor. Country music has been my life’s passion. It’s my childhood and my future. It’s the heartbeat that speaks truth to all walks of life in the best and worst of times. It’s truly a gift to get to honor, protect and build the next era of country music history with UMGN,” she continues. “I want to thank Sir Lucian Grainge for his belief in me, his brilliant leadership and for building this incredible culture that puts artists and music first.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO adds, “We’re thrilled to have Cindy step into this role. She is a transformational executive, who has a distinguished track record of designing and implementing innovative strategies to help build artists’ careers and bring their music to fans around the world. Cindy’s credibility in the artist community and her deep experience will help us deliver countless additional artists’ successes going forward.”
A North Carolina native, Mabe attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from Belmont University in Nashville with a B.S. in Business Administration. She bagan her career as promotions coordinator at RCA Nashville, before shifting to sales and then artist marketing and development. She later served as Senior Director of Marketing and Artist Development at Arista Records Nashville from 1999-2007 before joining Capitol Records.
Mabe spent five years at Capitol Records Nashville, where she held the position of SVP of Marketing and played an integral role in the long-term creative and commercial success of the label. She joined UMG Nashville in 2012 as Senior Vice President of Marketing, where she was responsible for leading marketing across UMG’s expanded suite of country labels following its acquisition of EMI.
Mabe is one of Music Row’s most esteemed executives. She became Nashville’s highest-ranking woman label executive in 2014 when she was appointed as UMG Nashville President, and she makes history again by becoming the first woman to serve as Chair and CEO of a Nashville-based major label group. 2022 also saw the appointment of another female label-head on Music Row when Cris Lacy became Co-President of Warner Music Nashville.
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