Universal Music Group has appointed Sony/ATV Music Publishing co-president Jody Gerson as chairman and chief executive of its music publishing arm, replacing Zach Horowitz, the company said on Friday.
Horowitz was named to that position at Universal Music Publishing Group in 2012, after serving as president and chief operating officer of Universal Music Group for 12 years.
Gerson will take the reins at the beginning of 2015, work from the company's Santa Monica headquarters and report to Universal Music Group's CEO Lucian Grainge.
After Gerson joined Sony/ATV Publishing in 2008, she played a key role in the careers of artists including Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Pharrell Williams, the company said.
In her new position, she will be the first female chairman and CEO of a major global music publishing company.
"She brings us not only her impressive track record of success in identifying and signing great talent, but also a real savvy about the industry and the evolving role of music publishers in the digital era," Grainge said in a note to employees.
Horowitz's exit, first reported by Billboard, comes after his three decades with the company, starting with MCA, which later became Universal Music Group.
UMG, owned by the French media giant Vivendi, said Horowitz is stepping down immediately "to explore other opportunities."
"He leaves with our utmost respect and gratitude," Grainge said.
Sony/ATV said it has begun an international search to replace Gerson, and a team of executives will run the company's Los Angeles office in the interim.
"I couldn't be prouder of Jody and I will be sorry to see her go," said the company's CEO Martin Bandier in a statement.
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