Phil Quartararo

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Phil Quartararo
BornJanuary 7, 1956
Other namesPhil Q
OccupationMusic Industry Executive

Philip Michael Quartararo (born January 7, 1956) is an American music industry executive. He is currently President and Chairman at The Hello Group, and has held positions as CEO at Virgin Records, Warner Bros. Records and EMI, and has been involved in the careers of recording artists ranging from Linkin Park to Josh Groban to the Spice Girls.[1][2] Quartararo is known as a defender of artist rights.[3] He has spoken out on the fight against music piracy and the need to restore the value of music.[4] Quartararo is regarded as one of the most promotion-minded executives[5] in the music business and is regarded as a thought leader on the subject of partnership between brands and artists.[6]


Early life[edit]

Quartararo was born in Brooklyn, NY. His work in the music business began at an early age, booking music acts out of his bedroom while he was still in high school.[7] He attended Chaminade H.S in Mineola where he booked the sockhop bands. He attended Syracuse University where his college roommates were John Sykes and Rob Light. Sykes went on to become co-founder of MTV and VH1 Cable Networks as well as holding senior positions at record labels and radio broadcast networks. Light went on to become managing partner and head of music for CAA.

Quartararo began his career in the record industry as a local radio promotion manager for A&M Records from 1977 to 1981. He moved on to become a regional promotion manager for RCA Records from 1981 to 1983. His executive breakthrough came when he was hired as Senior VP Promotion and Marketing for Island Records from 1982 to 1986 where he was instrumental [1] in breaking U2 in America.

Virgin Records America[edit]

In 1986 Quartararo was recruited by Richard Branson as part of the team to launch Virgin Records America along with executives, Jordan Harris and Jeff Ayeroff. In 1992 he became President and CEO of Virgin Records America.[8] At Virgin he was influential in the recording careers of Smashing Pumpkins, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Abdul, After 7, Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson and Ben Harper. He is credited with the marketing blitz that launched the Spice Girls in the U.S.,[9] the success of which brought him to the attention of Warner Bros. Records.[10]

Warner Bros. Records[edit]

In 1997, Quartararo was recruited[11] as President Warner Bros. Records which was ranked #1 out of world’s largest record companies. At Warner he worked with artists including Linkin Park, Josh Groban, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Cher, Wilco, Eric Clapton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith Hill, Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day.

EMI Music[edit]

In 2002, Quartararo was hired to become Executive Vice President of EMI Music and President of EMI Marketing. Quartararo reorganized EMI, shifting its focus from sales and distribution to marketing.[12] He directed the marketing and launch of recordings of Coldplay, Norah Jones, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins, RBD, Beach Boys as well as marketing the estate catalogs of Frank Sinatra, Beatles, Les Paul and Dean Martin.

Other endeavors[edit]

In late 2007, Quartararo left EMI[13] to work with start up companies focused on digital music distribution. In 2009, he started his own firm, Tripod Partners which has worked with various music industry companies as Beta Records TV, global online talent search Avon Voices, Shazam music discovery app and Guvera music streaming service. He is associated with the talent management firm The Collective and a principal in the consultancy QP2 Group. Quartararo also manages Yoshiki, singer-songwriter Brandon Howard, and heavy metal group XJapan. Quartararo was executive producer of the 8 hour PBS miniseries The Soundtrack of Our Lives . He also serviced as executive producer[14] of the double Grammy award winning album, Les Paul And Friends: A Tribute To A Legend. At the 2013 Midem conference, Quartararo was referenced by industry media for his observation, “The old record business didn’t get killed. It committed suicide. The industry didn’t listen to its consumers.”[6]


Quartararo sits on the boards of the Grammy Foundation, City of Hope, Cedar Sinai, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), T J Martell Foundation, Pacific Science Center, State of California Board for Engineers and Surveyors and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications (Senior Board).

He has been recognized for his philanthropic contributions with awards including City of Hope's "Spirit of Life" Award,[15] Russell Simmons Award for Diversity and Equality, the Vincent Testaverde Award for Spinal Injury, Sons of Italy Award and Syracuse University's “40 at 40” Award.

Music Industry Honors[edit]

Quartararo was named by Billboard magazine as Music Executive of the Year (2001), and received the NARAS Governors Award.


  1. ^ a b Trakin, Roy (22 January 2014). "Music Moguls Reunite". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. ^ Simmons, Christopher (11 February 2011). "Former CEO of Virgin Records and Warner Bros. Records, Phil Quartararo Joins BETA Records Advisory Group". Music Industry News. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. ^ Brandle, Lars. "The Hot Seat: Phil Quartararo, Guvera". The Music Network. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  4. ^ Staff (3 November 2003). "US downloads beat CD sales". BBC News. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  5. ^ Philips, Chuck (19 June 1997). "EMI Spins Record Hits in Virgin Territory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b Brandle, Lars (27 January 2013). "MIDEM 2013: Guvera's Phil Quartararo Says Old Record Business 'Committed Suicide'". Billboard. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Board: Phil Quartararo". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  8. ^ "WARNER BROTHERS NAMES EX-VIRGIN EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT". New York Times. 15 October 1997. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  9. ^ Furman, Phyllis (15 October 1997). "Warner Signs Quartararo". New York Daily News. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  10. ^ Philips, Chuck (22 September 1997). "Quartararo to Quit Virgin Records America". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  11. ^ Philips, Chuck (15 October 1997). "Quartararo Tapped to Head Warner Bros. Records". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Quartararo Expands Role At EMI". Billboard. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Phil Quartararo To Exit EMI, Launch Own Company". All Access. 8 December 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  14. ^ Peeples, Stephen (30 August 2005). "Les Paul & Friends - American Made, World Played". Audio Video Revolution. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  15. ^ Sandler, Adam (11 October 1999). "City of Hope benefit raises $3.5 mil". Variety. Retrieved 1 February 2014.