Jody Gerson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jody Gerson
EducationBachelor of Arts Northwestern University, The Baldwin School
OccupationChairman and Chief executive officer of Universal Music Publishing Group, American music executive

Jody Gerson (born 1961 in Philadelphia)[1] is the Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group.[2] Upon assuming the role on January 1, 2015, Gerson became the first female to run a major record company[3] and first chairwoman of a global music company.[4]


Gerson was raised in a Jewish family[5][6] in the Philadelphia area, where her father owned several nightclubs including the Latin Casino[7] whose performers included artists like Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross.[8] She began her career in music publishing at Chappell Music shortly after graduating from Northwestern University,[9] where she started out making tape copies.[8] After six years at Chappell, she moved to EMI Music Publishing to run the company's east coast office[2] before shifting to head up the company's west coast publishing division in 1991. In January 2008, Gerson left EMI to become US Co-President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.[9] In 2015, Gerson joined Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) as Chairman and CEO. Under her leadership,[10] UMPG's competitive and financial performance improved, growing its revenue 56%[11] and becoming a billion-dollar business.[10] Gerson has also led the signings and extensions of artists and songwriters including the Bee Gees,[12][13] Elton John,[14][13] Carly Simon,[15] Bruce Springsteen,[16] Prince,[17] Taylor Swift,[18] Billie Eilish,[19] Rosalia,[20] Alicia Keys,[21] Coldplay,[13] Justin Bieber,[13] Jack White,[22] SZA,[13] Quavo,[7] Ariana Grande, H.E.R.,[13] Harry Styles, Jeff Bhasker, Maren Morris,[23] Tierra Whack,[7] Halsey, Demi Lovato, Shawn Mendes, Tobias Jesso Jr., Travis Scott, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Maroon 5, R.E.M., Pearl Jam and Post Malone, and more.[8] In 2016, she also negotiated a deal for UMPG to be the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for Prince’s entire song catalog.[24]

Previous to UMPG,[25] Gerson has signed many successful songwriters throughout her career in music publishing, including Lady Gaga, Norah Jones, Odd Future, Jermaine Dupri, and a then 15-year-old Alicia Keys. Gerson has also played an instrumental role in the careers of Enrique Iglesias, Pharrell Williams, Mac Miller, Pitbull, RedOne, and Dallas Austin, among others.[2]

In addition to her work in music, Gerson produced the movies Drumline and ATL. Drumline is currently being adapted for Broadway. She is also executive producer of VH1's Drumline 2.[2] She is a board member of the National Music Publishers Association.[26]


On December 3, 2015, Gerson was named 'Executive of the Year' by Billboard Magazine in its Women in Music 2015 issue.[8] In 2016 she was named "Inspiring Woman of the Year" by the March of Dimes, and named to the Variety Power of Women L.A. list.[27][28] She appeared on the Billboard Power 100 in 2016, 2017, 2018,[29] and 2019. In 2020, she was named by Billboard as "Executive of the Year", becoming the first music publisher and first woman to receive this honor.[30] Gerson will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award at the 51st annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Gerson is divorced from Seth Swirsky and has three children: Julian (1994), Luke (2002), and Daisy (2004).[8]


  1. ^ Laura M. Holson (January 27, 2002). "Bolstering a Career From the Beginning". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d "Jody Gerson Named Head of Universal Music Publishing Group". Billboard. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  3. ^ Dodero, Camille. "Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman/CEO Jody Gerson on Why the Music Industry Has Yet to Have a #MeToo Moment". Billboard. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  4. ^ "UMPG's Jody Gerson to Receive Songwriters Hall of Fame Abe Olman Publisher Award". Billboard. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  5. ^ Gensler, Andy and Halperin, Shirley "Houses of the Holy: Where the Music Biz Celebrates the Jewish High Holidays" Billboard Magazine. September 23, 2014
  6. ^ Hollywood Reporter: "Hollywood's Battles for the Best Bar Mitzvah: $5M Budgets, Justin Bieber and Camels" by Carson Griffith November 11, 2016 |
  7. ^ a b c Amorosi, A. D. (2019-10-23). "Universal Music Publishing Group's Jody Gerson Honored by Hometown of Philadelphia". Variety. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  8. ^ a b c d e Halperin, Shirley "Women in Music 2015: Jody Gerson Named Executive of the Year" Billboard Magazine. December 3, 2015
  9. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2015-01-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b "Jody Gerson-led Universal Music Publishing Group is now officially a billion-dollar business". Music Business Worldwide. 2019-02-14. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  11. ^ "Universal Music Group Revenues Pass $7.7 Billion in 2019, IPO Planned By 2023". Billboard. 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  12. ^ "Bee Gees musical on the way thanks to deal with Universal Music Group". Music Business Worldwide. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Jody Gerson, Billboard's Power Executive of the Year". Billboard. 2020-01-23. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  14. ^ "Elton John signs with Universal 'for the rest of his career'". Reuters. 2018-09-21. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  15. ^ "Carly Simon Signs Global Administration Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group". Billboard. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  16. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2017-07-31). "Bruce Springsteen Signs With Universal Music Publishing". Variety. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  17. ^ "Prince's Estate Signs With Universal Music Publishing". Billboard. 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  18. ^ "Taylor Swift Signs With UMPG". Billboard. 2020-02-06. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  19. ^ "Billie Eilish Lands Co-Publishing Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group". Billboard. 2018-11-09. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  20. ^ "The world's next pop superstar? Rosalía signs global deal with Universal Music Publishing Group". Music Business Worldwide. 2019-06-04. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  21. ^ "Alicia Keys Moves Catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group". Billboard. 2019-09-05. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  22. ^ Trakin, Roy (2017-04-27). "Jack White Signs Worldwide Agreement With Universal Music Publishing Group". Variety. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  23. ^ "Maren Morris Inks Worldwide Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group". Billboard. 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  24. ^ "Prince's Estate Signs With Universal Music Publishing". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Jody Gerson Jumps From Sony/ATV to Universal, Becomes Highest Ranking Woman in Publishing". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  26. ^ "NMPA". NMPA. 2014-05-13. Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  27. ^ "Power of Women L.A. Impact Report". October 11, 2016.
  28. ^ "March of Dimes Raises $1.4 Million at 6th Annual Celebration of Babies®: A Hollywood Luncheon".
  29. ^ "No. 8: Jody Gerson | Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  30. ^ "Jody Gerson of Universal Music Publishing Group: Executive of the Year". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  31. ^ "UMPG's Jody Gerson to Receive Songwriters Hall of Fame Abe Olman Publisher Award". Billboard. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2020-03-12.