Jon Platt becomes first Black CEO of major music publishing division
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 11/16/2018, 9:46 a.m.
Jon Platt — the new CEO of Sony/ATV, the company’s music-publishing division — is destined for greatness in an industry now dominated by white British men, sources say. The former DJ and Jay Z’s pal will be the first African-American to head one of the big three music publishers when he takes over in April, reports PageSix.
Platt, called a “gentle giant” at 6-foot-7, is rumored to be getting $9 million a year as the successor to his onetime boss Marty Bandier. “He’s worked his way there,” Jay Z said in October when Platt, currently CEO of Warner/Chappell Music, was given the Spirit of Life Award at the City of Hope’s annual gala. “We all know the story: a Denver DJ with the Jheri curls. [Now] he’s the highest-ranking Black executive in any global [music] company. He’s the Obama of the music industry.”
Platt brought in big names for the gala — including a performance by Beyoncé – raise an eye-popping $6.5 million to fight cancer. Sony separated its publishing from recorded music at the time of its joint venture with BMG in 2004. But it is expected that they will eventually be merged, setting up a rivalry between Platt and Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer. “The hot rumor now is the Japanese are bringing in Platt to take over all divisions of music,” one source said. But a Sony insider said, “If there is consolidation, the publishing would be under Sony Music, and Platt would report to Rob Stringer.”
Since Platt, a father of three, lives in Los Angeles, there is speculation that Sony might leave New York and head west, but one source said, “That won’t happen. They invested millions renovating 25 Madison Avenue. That’s their headquarters.”