Universal Music Group Nashville Chairman and CEO Mike Dungan will retire in March. He has led the Nashville arm of the company since 2012.
Dungan will continue to serve as an advisor to UMG Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge. The announcement indicated that Dungan’s successor will be revealed at a later date, though current UMG Nashville president Cindy Mabe is expected to assume the position.
Dungan began his career in Cincinnati working at a record store as a teenager. He moved to the label side of the business in 1979 at RCA/BMG, where he worked his way up to Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing.
A job with Arista Nashville moved Dungan to Music City. He worked alongside Tim DuBois and rose to Sr. VP/General Manager. In his 10 years leading Arista Nashville, the label had success with Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson.
Dungan became President of EMI Music’s Capitol Nashville in 2012. He led the label for 12 years, assuming his current position when UMG purchased EMI. During his tenure, he has overseen the careers of some of country music’s most iconic performers, alongside some of the biggest breakthrough artists of the last decade, including Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, George Strait, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, Maddie & Tae, Gary Allan, Vince Gill, Billy Currington, Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne, Mickey Guyton, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Jon Pardi and Reba.
“For 43 years the music business has been my home – smiling, dialing, selling, hustling, laughing, doing my part to help the art and magic realize its potential. And loving every minute of it,” Dungan shared in a statement. “I’ve lived a charmed life, and there are no words to describe how grateful I am, and how blessed I feel, for everyone that I have encountered along the way. I’m also proud to boast that through it all, with little exception, I have been ‘all-in’ as a competitor and as a friend.
“The solemn truth is that over time, that intensity takes its toll, and a lot of the dog has been knocked out of me. By the time I leave here I will be 69 years old. It is time to slow down – I look forward to devoting more time to my family and to my garden,” he continued. “I have an incredible wife who has put up with my nonsense for 45 years. We have two great kids who have two great wives of their own. And we have five wonderful grandkids who I intend to spoil to the fullest. I am forever grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge, who eleven years ago handed me the keys to the best job in the world. To him and to everyone at UMG, to all of those who have been my family-in-arms now and in the past, to all those creators whose art it has been my pleasure to represent… I am at a loss to express my love and gratitude. I am the luckiest man alive.”
“Mike is a unique force,” said Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO. “He has had an incredible impact on the careers and well-being of so many in Nashville through the years – from artists to employees. After a brilliant four decades in Nashville, and with our team they are well-positioned for continued strength, Mike is making an admirable and well-deserved life change. And while he won’t be serving in his CEO capacity, I’ve asked him to continue to contribute to areas that we’re both passionate about—breaking genre barriers and delivering critical support to artists past and present. I am deeply grateful to Mike for all he has done for our company and our artists and congratulate him on his unprecedented career success. I’m so pleased we will continue to have the benefit of his experience, deep relationships and wisdom.”
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