UK Music announced today that Feargal Sharkey has left the organisation. Feargal, who was originally Director General of British Music Rights, oversaw the process of the foundation of UK Music, the first representative body for the whole of the UK’s commercial music industry. It was an endeavour of great ambition and has now been in existence for three years.
In that time Feargal has been responsible for seeing UK Music become the focus of the industry’s political lobbying, for much of the industry’s research and has delivered a unified and collective voice for the separate sectors of the commercial music world when before there was division and contention, both in private and public affairs.
Andy Heath, Chairman of UK Music commented, “This is a very sad day, Feargal has worked tirelessly to realise the vision of the founders of the company, and he has achieved that brilliantly. He has assembled a first class team who, I’m certain will take the company forward to new strengths and achievements.
“I will miss working with him immensely. He’s unique and can’t be replaced, but now UK Music has achieved the stability, credibility and reputation that it has, we will move forward with a new CEO to new heights. Feargal is an ambitious man and I fully respect his decision that he wishes to take up new challenges. I will remain his friend and hope and am confident that he will be successful in the future. We both appreciate greatly the way members of the company have come together to find a common voice and play their part in helping to make the music industry a more coherent and effective entity in public and political affairs.”
“In the immediate future Jo Dipple, currently senior policy advisor, will lead the company while we undergo a recruitment process.”
Feargal Sharkey commented, “UK Music has been one of the greatest adventures of my life and I leave now so I might continue on other journeys.
“While there will be many memories above all I shall never forget what a honour and a privilege it has been to have worked with such a dedicated, creative and professional team of staff, without whom, so much simply would not have been possible. Their friendship, support and guidance has been an inspiration and they will always have my overwhelming admiration and respect. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of that.
“What is now most important is that we can all look forward to the future successes I know that UK Music, can, and will, achieve.”
Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive PRS for Music said that “The entire music industry is indebted to Feargal for the enormous contribution he has made during his time as Chief Executive of UK Music. He has worked tirelessly to bring this industry together, representing our views to government and policy makers, ensuring the contribution music makes to the creative sector and the UK is fully understood. It has been a pleasure working with Feargal and we’ll all miss his enthusiasm, dedication, honesty and star quality. He is unique.
“On behalf of our 85,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members’ thank-you for all you’ve done for the music industry in this country.”