He has served as interim president since January of last year
Harvey Mason Jr. has been named the President and CEO of the Recording Academy by the Academy’s Board of Trustees, making official a role he has held in the interim since January of last year.
He will officially take the role effective June 1. He will also relinquish his title of the chair of the Academy’s board. He will also take steps to ensure there won’t be any conflict of interest with his business, Harvey Mason Media.
Mason in his time as interim CEO and president has overseen the recent changes to the Grammys voting process, eliminating the controversial secret committees, and he’s also been instrumental in distributing funds to struggling artists through the Academy’s MusiCares program, which raised and gave out over $24 million to those in need during the pandemic. Additionally, the Academy under his leadership also launched a new Songwriters & Composers Wing and the Black Music Collective.
Mason also takes over after the ousting of Deborah Dugan, who had accused the voting process for the Grammys of being corrupt and filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the organization in which she accused them of multiple instances of misconduct. Dugan was placed on administrative leave and then fired early last year after the Recording Academy in turn investigated accusations of misconduct against Dugan that turned up “serious complaints” and “poor judgment.”
Mason in addition to his work with the Academy is also a Grammy-nominated creator and an entrepreneur. The board considered other candidates for the position but concluded that none had Mason’s level of skills and experience.
“We are delighted that Harvey will remain at the helm and continue to steer the organization through this pivotal time. As we journeyed deeper into our extensive search, it became clear that the best person for the job was Harvey. We are immensely impressed by the remarkable work he has done during his interim tenure and look forward to the continued evolution of the Academy under his effective, results-driven leadership,” the search committee’s co-chairs John Burk and Leslie Ann Jones said in a joint statement.
“There is nothing more rewarding than having the trust and respect of your colleagues and peers,” Mason said in a statement. “I am honored to have been appointed to continue to lead the Recording Academy on our transformative journey. While I had not initially expected to be in this position, I remain deeply invested in the success of the organization and am motivated to help us achieve our greatest ambitions. I will serve humbly with a steadfast commitment to building a more inclusive, responsive and relevant Academy.”
“I want to commend the search committee and our partners at Heidrick and Struggles for orchestrating a robust and exhaustive search for our next President and CEO,” Tammy Hurt, vice chair of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “I am not surprised that they faced a significant challenge in finding candidates that would meet the standard that has been set by Harvey during these past 16 months. He has led the Academy through one of the most difficult periods in our history. As a music creator himself, he has provided hope, inspiration and a vision for the future that we are well on our way to achieving. We are all thrilled that he has agreed to become our permanent CEO and will continue to lead us into the future.”
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