A music executive or record executive is a person within a record label who works in senior management, making executive decisions over the label's artists. Their role varies greatly but in essence, they can oversee one, or many, aspects of a record label, including A&R, contracts, management, publishing, production, manufacture, marketing/promotion, distribution, copyright, and touring. Although music executives work in senior management, a number of music executives have gone on to establish their own record labels as owners themselves, sometimes being involved in the music industry initially as artists, A&Rs, or producers for a number of years and building a strong reputation.
Music executives work in a variety of settings for "major" record labels such as Universal Music Group (part of EMI's recorded music division absorbed into UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (EMI Music Publishing absorbed into Sony/ATV Music Publishing), or Warner Music Group. However, many choose to work with, or start their own independent record labels such as Sub Pop, Ironworks and Jagjaguwar.