Charlie Walk

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Charlie Walk
Charlie Walk photograph 2014.jpg
Alma mater Boston University's School of Management
Occupation Music executive
Employer Republic Records
Title President, Republic Group (Universal Music Group)

Charlie Walk is an American music executive and entrepreneur. He is the president of Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. From 2005-2008, he was the president of Epic Records, a division of Sony Music.

Early life[edit]

Walk said he first wanted to work in the music industry when he was eight years old, when he listened to the Boston pop music station WRKO on an old transistor radio.[1] Walk started out as a college marketing representative for Sony Music while he was attending Boston University's School of Management.[2]

Columbia Records[edit]

Charlie Walk worked at Columbia Records in 1990 as a marketing and promotion manager. His first job was to work with the New Kids on the Block over their first days on their local promotion, trying to break them into the mainstream.[3] During his time at Columbia he became vice president for promotion at the label, and was profiled by The New York Times as one of the music industry's "young guns" in 1998.[4] At Columbia he worked with Destiny's Child and Beyoncé Knowles,[5]Will Smith, Maxwell, John Legend, Mariah Carey, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, and Aerosmith.[6][not in citation given]

He was named executive vice president, promotion, in 2000 from the position of senior vice president of pop promotion. In 2004, he was promoted to executive vice president of creative marketing and promotion at Columbia where he was in charge of developing strategies in non-traditional marketing areas, along with licensing. [7][8]

Epic Records[edit]

In December 2005, Walk became president of Epic Records.[9]Jessica Simpson moved from Columbia to Epic to follow Walk.[10] He also worked with the label’s established artists, including RedOne.[11]

Walk conceived of the first "personalized pop song," for Jessica Simpson and the first user-generated single for Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie." [12] "Hips Don't Lie" was first #1 hit for both Shakira and Wyclef Jean, who rapped on the track. [13] He also created a partnership with ABC to integrate Epic artists with their programming, which enabled viewers to purchase songs they heard on ABC television shows.[14] Walk also broke new artists at Epic including The Script, Sean Kingston, The Fray, Sara Bareilles and Natasha Bedingfield.[15] He left the position in 2009.


In 2009, Walk co-founded RJW Collective, later known as JWALK.[16] The company's clients include the retailer Lacoste and the television broadcaster ABC.[6][17] Walk also partnered Endemol USA to produce TV, music and online content, with Walk executive producing the television content developed by the company.[14][18]

Republic Records[edit]

In 2013 Walk joined Republic Records as its executive vice president.[2] His position involves overseeing the marketing, PR and promotion teams for the label.[16][19][20] On July 2, 2014, Walk produced a one-off revival episode of Total Request Live on MTV entitled "Total Ariana Live".[21] He has also helped bring in John Varvatos Records.[22]

In 2014, Walk led Enrique Iglesias’ "Bailando" single campaign, which crossed the song over from Latin radio to Top 40 radio. The song has a blend of English and Spanish lyrics, and became the highest charting bilingual single since "The Macarena" in 1996.[23] Walk spearheaded Taylor Swift’s "Shake It Off" campaign which led Swift to become the first artist to have a single debut at number one on the pop music radio charts.[24] Additionally, Walk led the promotion for Lorde's quadruple platinum single "Royals". The Wall Street Journal wrote that Walk "is working on creating partnerships with radio stations, concert venues and music publications or blogs that will circulate her music without catapulting it into the mainstream. Instead of sending her music to KIIS, a famous top-40 Los Angeles radio station, they've turned to San Francisco's Live105 and Chicago's Q101, alternative stations."[25] Walk also signed Hailee Steinfeld to Republic.[26][1]

In February 2016, Walk was named president of the Republic Group, a newly formed grouping under the Universal Music Group, where he is charged with developing strategic partnerships with sister labels in addition to his role in charge of promotions and artist development.[27] In 2016 Walk co-founded Guess Music, after approaching Paul Marciano to discuss his expanding their partnership into a full fledged label.[28] He also signed DNCE.[29]

Philanthropy and recognition[edit]

In July 2014, Walk was honored at the VH1 Save the Music foundation gala for his work in returning music programs to American public schools.[30] At the event, Walk stated that music education is not just an arts class, but also a complement and enhancer of other more traditional studies a student takes while in school.[31] In 2015, Walk was the co-chair of the June VH1 Save the Music event, which raised $800,000.[32] Walk is a member of the board of directors of the Phoenix House, that "helps families who have loved ones struggling with substance abuse and addiction",[33] and is on the board of directors for he charity City of Hope, on which he sits on the board of directors.[34][35] Walk co-founded the Barclays Center’s Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Advisory Board in December 2014 with the CEO of Baclays Centre Brett Yormark.[36] On November 18, 2014, Walk was honored at the Musicians on Call charity event with a video tribute to his work with the organization.[37]

In 2015, Walk was named one of Billboard's Power 100, citing his taking the lead on the campaigns for Ariana Grande, Lorde and Enrique Iglesias. [38] He also appeared on the Power 100 in 2016 and 2017.[39][40]


  1. ^ a b Shirley Halperin and Gary Trust (January 12, 2015). "Roundtable: Five Execs Examine Radio's Uncertain Future in the Streaming Age". Billboard. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Charlie Walk Named EVP of Republic Records". The Hollywood Reporter. January 28, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Walk Sows Fifth Harmony". 
  4. ^ Monique P. Yazigi (August 16, 1998). "A NIGHT OUT WITH: The Young Guns; Working The Martini Shift". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ Roger Friedman (October 12, 2004). "Jacko Abandons Ailing 'Surrogate' Father". Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Billy Gray (September 12, 2012). "What's On My Desk: Jwalks's Charlie Walk". Haute Living. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  7. ^ Phil Gallo (June 14, 2004). "Col takes Walk to exec VP". Variety. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Angry Young Men". Esquire. September 13, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Jessica Simpson Shifts To Epic". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ Stephen M. Silverman (March 27, 2006). "Jessica Switches Homes – for Her Music". People. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ Aida Alami (September 30, 2011). "Hollyworld: Meet Morocco's starmaker". Global Post. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Mark Aspan (June 12, 2006). "For Shakira, First Came the Album, Then Came the Single". New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b "Charlie Walk's in Endemol pact". Variety. February 3, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  15. ^ Callie Cunningham (December 11, 2008). "Charlie Walk's Time Runs Out at Epic Records". American Songwriter(subscription required). Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Charlie Walk to Start Work as EVP of Republic Records as Soon as Monday: Sources". Billboard. January 23, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  17. ^ Andrew Adam Newman (August 23, 2011). "Lacoste Recasts Itself in Its Own Prestige". New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  18. ^ Noreen O'Leary (March 6, 2014). "This Agency Develops New Brand Categories JWalk also helps bolster the profiles of brands like DeLeon Tequila". Adweek. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ Andy Greene (May 22, 2014). "How Ariana Grande and Max Martin Made 'Problem' the Song of the Summer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
    - Andrew Hampp (December 19, 2013). "Austin Mahone Named Digital & Brand Strategist For Aquafina's FlavorSplash: Inside the 17-Year-Old's First Strategy Meeting". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Triple-Platform Push for Ariana Grande's Album - WSJ". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  21. ^ Emily Blake (June 25, 2014). "Get Ready: Ariana Grande Is Bringing 'TRL' Back". MTV. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ Kory Grow (February 18, 2014). "Style Guru John Varvatos Launches Music Label to 'Nurture' New Artists". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Ask Billboard: How Has Enrique Iglesias' 'Bailando' Become Such A Big Hit?". Billboard. July 27, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
    - "Enrique Iglesias breaks Spanish barriers, making ‘Bailando’ a #1 hit". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ "HITS Daily Double: News". Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ "New Zealand Pop Singer Lorde Makes Waves - WSJ". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ R. Couri Hay. "Charlie Walk's Secret to Finding the Next Music Star". Hamptons Magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Ingrid Michaelson, Poker Boost Education: Hamptons Scene". July 30, 2014. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Music Exec Charlie Walk's Secret to Finding the Next Big Music Star". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  34. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 7. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  35. ^ "City of Hope Music, Film and Entertainment Industry". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  36. ^ Ray Waddell (December 3, 2014). "Scooter Braun, Charlie Walk, Rosie Perez and Nick Cannon Among Those Named to Barclays Center's New Advisory Board". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  37. ^ Emily Smith (November 19, 2014). "Jessie J opens up about overcoming illness". New York Post. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Charlie Walk: The 2015 Billboard Power 100". Billboard. February 5, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  39. ^ Staff (February 2, 2016). "Billboard Power 100 2016". Billboard. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  40. ^ Billboard staff (February 9, 2017). "Biillboard Power 100, 2017". Billboard. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
Preceded by
Polly Anthony
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Epic Records
Succeeded by
Amanda Ghost