Last July, Charles Caldas announced that he was stepping down as head of indie licensing agency Merlin, a company he had been with since 2007, at end of the year. His replacement has just been announced and it is Jeremy Sirota who will be taking over as CEO of Merlin. He will split his time between London and New York.
He joins from Facebook’s music team where he was involved in the company’s music licensing efforts in recent years to clear music use across Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger. Prior to that he was at Warner Music Group where he was SVP and head of business & legal affairs at WEA and ADA.
For a number of years, a range of digital services and platforms have been recruiting former record company and music publishing staff so it is intriguing to see the poaching going in the other direction here (or, rather, a former music industry person going full circle after a stint at a major technology company).
Sirota joins Merlin at a boom time for Merlin, with the company revealing last summer that between April 2018 and March 2019 it had paid out $845m to its members (including over $130m in “non-royalty” income from settlements and the sale of Merlin’s shares in Spotify). That meant its year-on-year payouts grew by 63%.