Sony Music’s RCA Records has promoted co-president John Fleckenstein to COO and Mark Pitts to president, while co-president Joe Riccitelli will leave the company, reps confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide.
According to an announcement, Pitts has been promoted to the role of president, “working to grow and drive its Creative Business Operations as well as the Company’s cultural initiatives and further unifying our teams’ effectiveness.” Fleckenstein has been elevated to chief operating officer, “where, in addition to his current duties, he takes on more of the Company’s day-to-day business oversight. Both executives will continue to report to RCA Chairman & CEO Peter Edge.
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Riccitelli will depart the company and provide transitional services to continue his work with key projects, according to the announcement.
In a statement, Edge said, “RCA Records was a different company even just a few years ago. Over the past decade, there has been a genre shift in consumer demand and streaming has revolutionized every aspect of our business so we must constantly adapt and iterate on our successes.”
He is clearly referencing the popularity of hip-hop and R&B, which have formed the core of Pitts’ career for more than 20 years. He was Notorious B.I.G.’s manager and at RCA has worked closely with Usher, J. Cole, Miguel and others.
“Mark has demonstrated tremendous growth as an energetic, unstoppable leader whose unbridled enthusiasm and experience will be invaluable in taking our company to exciting new directions,” Edge’s statement continues. “With his deep relationships and decades of success working with legendary, pioneering artists, he is the ideal partner to help move our creative direction in a renewed, expanded way for the future.” Pitss will remain CEO and founder of ByStorm Entertainment, an entertainment company that was established in 1998.
Edge said Fleckenstein “has been a tremendous partner working effectively alongside me and across Sony Music globally these past few years driving our business forward. This new role will give him expanded oversight to reinvigorate all aspects of RCA’s operations.”
Edge also nodded to Riccitelli’s contributions. “I want to thank Joe for his years helping build RCA for success. He played a key role in building the careers of many of our biggest artists and I look forward to supporting his next chapter.”
Edge also told MBW that RCA’s executive VP of A&R, Tunji Balogun, who has signed and developed Khalid, is considered a “star player” at the label, embodying an approach of “working with artists early, then supporting and developing them over the long term.” He also gave props to two former Interscope execs who have joined the company, Aaron “Dash” Sherrod, who signed JuiceWRLD to Interscope, and senior VP of marketing Archie Davis.
Said Pitts, “New title, same energy! It’s no secret that music is a driving force in my life, so being recognized as someone who can continue to guide and motivate the RCA family of groundbreaking artists and fellow executives to further greatness is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I’m blessed to still be in an industry that I’m so passionate about and the picture we paint for ourselves is NEVER completed, so I look forward to more learning and creating culture-defining moments.”
Fleckenstein, who joined RCA in 2015, commented, “We are an Artist-first company with the best development team in the business. I’m incredibly proud of the RCA Family we have cultivated over the past few years with our fresh creative minds, experienced team leaders and our trailblazing roster. Mark’s passion is unmatched. Bringing his fearless and aggressive drive into the center of the company will be a true game changer for our people and our culture.”
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