Max Hole

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Max Hole
Born Christopher Charles Maximilian Hole
(1951-05-26) 26 May 1951 (age 65)
Occupation chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group International
Spouse(s) Jan Ravens (1999–present)
Children Jamie Hole, Mark Hole, Louis Ravens

Max Hole (born Christopher Charles Maximilian Hole ; 26 May 1951) is chairman and CEO of UMGI (International division of Universal Music Group) since 1 January 2013.[1] He previously held the role of chief operating officer for UMGI (International division of Universal Music Group) of which he occupied since 1 July 2010.[2] As head of central functions at UMGI's headquarters in London, he is also responsible for operations in territories and regions worldwide.[3] He was referred to in Billboard as "a serious contender for title of 'most powerful label executive outside America.'"[4]

Hole and English actress and impressionist, Jan Ravens, have been married since 1999 and have a son.[5][6]


Max Hole began his career in the music industry in 1972 as founder with Geoff Jukes of Gemini Artists, an agency and management business, representing such musicians as Martin Carthy, Camel, Mungo Jerry and Arthur Brown.[7] In 1982, he was a manager in the artists and repertoire department at WEA. In 1990, he moved up to managing director for East West Records where he was closely involved with the career of Simply Red, among others. After sixteen years with Warners, in 1998, he took the position of senior vice-president for marketing and A&R for Universal Music's international division. He became executive vice-president in 2004, overseeing the promotion and marketing of top artists including Bon Jovi, Amy Winehouse, Snow Patrol, Justin Bieber, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, U2, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, and Bryan Adams and also assuming responsibility for Universal's Asia/Pacific business.[8][9] In 2010, he was appointed COO of UMG International following the appointment of the division's chairman, Lucian Grainge, to CEO of Universal Music Group.[3] In January 2013, he was promoted to chairman & CEO of UMGI.[1]

Classical Music[edit]

Hole also currently oversees Universal's worldwide classical business and therefore has been a major force behind the company's drive to "assert its classical music leadership as never before". He has been instrumental in a number of high-profile signings, in particular the conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, who signed to DG and Decca Classics in late 2010[10] As C.O.O. Hole instigated the relocation of Deutsche Grammophon to Berlin, and the relaunch of Decca Classics in London

As part of the reinvigoration of these two important labels, and reflecting his passion for popularising classical music, particularly among younger recorded music buyers, he oversaw the signing and development of a number of new artists, including classical guitar sensation Milos Karadaglic to DG.[11]

Max worked in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris on the Bristol Proms, a major programme of live classical performances and collaborations featuring Nicola Benedetti, Clare Reddington and others.[12]

As C.O.O., Hole pioneered digital distribution in classical markets with the launch of Sinfini Music, an information resource and e-commerce portal for classical music.[13]

Asian Markets[edit]

Hole spent much of the last decade as head of UMG's Asia Pacific region, and is one of the industry's most experienced executives in this part of the world. He steered Universal Music Japan's transition into a domestic-music powerhouse, and has facilitated significant deals with independent Asian music companies to promote homegrown talent, including Taiwan's Rock Records in 2008[14] and South Korea's Play Cube Entertainment in 2010. He led Universal's renewed investment in the latter country after seven years away – a decision validated by the South Korean recorded music sector's return to growth, as reflected in the 2010 IFPI digital music report.[15][16]

Moreover, Hole was a founding father of the landmark license deal between One Stop China, a joint venture with Warner and Sony, and China's No. 1 search engine Baidu, for its new music download service in July. The agreement has seen the One Stop China partners license Baidu to offer more than 500,000 songs for download to Chinese music fans. The search engine had previously been a major source of internet piracy.[17]

Recent achievements[edit]

Hole was placed No. 16 on the Guardian and Observer's 'Music Power 100' in 2011.[18]

Hole was instrumental in securing UMGI's deal with John de Mol's Talpa Media for 'The Voice Of…', a reality TV property similar to X Factor. Talpa has agreed to give UMG exclusive rights to record and promote artists emerging from it. The format attracted 3.2m viewers during its run in the Netherlands.[19]


  2. ^ "Universal Music Group International promotes Max Hole to Chief Operating Officer". 15 March 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Paine, Andre (15 March 2010). "Max Hole to Fill UMGI Leadership Role". London: Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Sutherland, Mark (22 March 2010). "6 Questions: Max Hole". London: Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Hussain, Ali (7 December 2008). "Fame & Fortune: Jan Ravens". The Times. London. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Rees, Jasper (11 May 2009). "Jan Ravens: making a lasting impression". The Times. London. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Max Hole, Esq's Biography". Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Legrand, Emmanuel (1 October 2004). "Max Hole Promoted at UMI". Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Foster, Patrick (15 March 2010). "Business big shot: Max Hole, Universal Music". The Times. London. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "News". Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Lewis, John (1 August 2013). "Bristol Proms: Sounding a new note for classical music? | Music". Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Cutting Through Classical". Sinfini Music. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "2011 IFPI Digital Report in depth". Music Week. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  16. ^ [2][dead link]
  17. ^ [3][dead link]
  18. ^ "Max Hole – The Music Power 100 – No 16". The Guardian. London. 26 May 2011. 
  19. ^ Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]