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Ole Appoints Helen Murphy as New CEO

ole, one of the world’s fastest growing independent music publishing, music production, and global rights management companies, has announced the appointment of entertainment industry veteran Helen Murphy to succeed Robert Ott as ole’s CEO. Ott will continue to serve as an advisor to Murphy and the ole board of directors.

Murphy is the founder and president of International Media Services, Inc. The company provides strategic and financial advisory services to clients in the global media and entertainment industries. Services include structuring and negotiating brand extensions; negotiating and executing new media/digital growth opportunities; financial/organizational restructuring and integration activities; and negotiating and structuring acquisitions.

“I am passionate about music and very excited that the music industry has returned to growth around the world," says Murphy. "Given the ever-increasing ways people have to consume music, I believe we have an incredible opportunity at ole to continue to create value for our songwriters, our artists and our global production music and intellectual property business partners. I look forward to working with the team at ole and with its founding partner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’).”

Prior to founding IMS in 2004, Helen was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Warner Music Group (WMG), one of the world’s largest recorded music and publishing companies. At Warner Music Group, Murphy was responsible for the finance, human resources, business development, information technology, and real estate functions. In 2012, she was the lead external negotiator for Sony Corporation and Mubadala Development Company to acquire The EMI Music Publishing catalog for $1 billion and to negotiate a long-term administration deal for the Sony/ATV Catalog with Mubadala.

Murphy also was CFO for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and led the initial public offering of the company. In the 1990’s, she held a series of senior financial positions, including CFO at PolyGram Music Group (now Universal Music Group).

Ott says, “It has been a privilege and honor to found ole and grow the company to its present position as a global player. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many incredible people over the years and have learned so much from them. I’m thankful to Ontario Teachers for their belief in a dream and wish Helen Murphy and ole every success in the future.”

Ontario Teachers’ Senior Managing Director, Capital Markets, Gillian Brown adds, “We believe that Helen’s track-record, industry knowledge, creative relationships and passion for excellence make her the right person to lead the next phase of ole’s growth and development in this exciting time for the company and for the industry. We thank Robert for the contribution he has made to ole during his tenure. His decision to stay on as an advisor to Helen and the Board will ensure a smooth transition and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.