UK Music CEO Michael Dugher is to step down after almost three years, he announced today (6 December).
Dugher, a former parliamentarian who joined UK Music in April 2017, is leaving to take up a new position as chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, which represents the UK gambling industry.
His achievements at UK Music, the British umbrella body which incorporates the UK Live Music Group, include taking part in campaigns to change planning laws to protect music venues and mitigate the impact of rising business rates (taxes).
Dugher will leave at the end of January, with deputy CEO Tom Kiehl filling in until a replacement is found.
“It has been an immense privilege to serve as CEO at UK Music for nearly three years,” comments Dugher. “We have achieved great things for an industry that makes a huge and positive contribution to our country. I have always believed in the power of music to transform lives and I am grateful for the opportunity UK Music’s members gave me back in 2017 to play a part in what is a wonderful organisation. I hope I have made a difference.
“I have been lucky to work with some phenomenally talented and deeply committed people, on the staff and amongst our member organisations.
“In particular, I’d like to pay tribute to UK Music’s outstanding founding chairman, Andy Heath, for believing in me and for showing me every personal support.
“I am grateful for the opportunity UK Music’s members gave me back in 2017 to play a part in a wonderful organisation”
“I hope that UK Music has a profile and a reach today that can enable it to achieve even greater things in future. I am genuinely sorry to leave, but I made a commitment when I left politics to put my family first and I’m looking forward to a new challenge.
“I have no doubt that UK Music will only go from strength to strength and I wish the organisation, its members and the new acting CEO Tom Kiehl every success in the future.”
Under Dugher, UK Music last month released its inaugural Music by Numbers report, revealing that the value of the UK live industry grew 10%, to £1.1 billion, in 2018.
Paying tribute to Dugher, Heath adds: “Michael has done a truly outstanding job and we are very sorry indeed to lose a man who has helped give the music industry in the UK a presence, influence and reputation which it thoroughly deserves, but has not always in the past been able to communicate.
“The team at UK Music are first class and will continue the exceptional work it has shown in the last few years. We all, and I personally, wish Michael every success in the future and I look forward to him attending many of our functions in the future.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.