NEW YORK--()--Irwin Z. Robinson, Chairman of the Boards of the Harry Fox Agency (HFA) and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) today announced that Michael S. Simon has been promoted to President and CEO for HFA. Simon was previously the organization’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, General Counsel and Chief Strategic Officer. Simon succeeds Gary L. Churgin.
“Since he joined HFA in 2001 to head the licensing division, Michael Simon has been a strong advocate to modernize HFA and move the company into new lines of business, progressively overseeing more of HFA and proving himself a leader and visionary within the organization”
“Since he joined HFA in 2001 to head the licensing division, Michael Simon has been a strong advocate to modernize HFA and move the company into new lines of business, progressively overseeing more of HFA and proving himself a leader and visionary within the organization,” said Robinson. “We are grateful to Gary Churgin for leading HFA though its technology transformation while also navigating some of the most radical changes to music licensing in the past fifty years. Choosing Gary’s successor was a very easy decision for the Board and me, and I know that Michael will continue to expand HFA’s position as the foremost rights licensing partner in the U.S. as well as strengthen the focus on customer service for publishers and licensees.”
“I’m deeply honored that Irwin, the HFA, and NMPA Boards have put their trust in me to continue to transform an institution founded in the 20th century around the breakthrough technology of recorded music into the organization critical for the 21st century’s digital music business,” said Simon. “With our Slingshot service, which simplifies the licensing and royalty payment process for clients, we are delivering HFA’s expanded rights management expertise to all music distributors and music publishers, and I will be working with the team to grow that initiative aggressively. I am also committed to supporting HFA’s current music publishing and licensee base and delivering to them the support they need to run their businesses most effectively.”
Since he first joined HFA 11 years ago, Simon focused his efforts on creating new opportunities for the company and the over 46,000 publishers it represents while also improving HFA’s traditional mechanical licensing business. Initially, his role included oversight of the Licensing Department where he instituted new technology and business processes to better manage the administration of the over 200,000 physical product licenses and millions of digital licenses issued by HFA per year. These Licensing improvements supported the new opportunities created by the Business Development team including groundbreaking licensing arrangements for online music and music video services, ringtones, Express Live recordings, lyrics, guitar tablature, background music, digital jukeboxes, and other new media opportunities, as well as the development of a full suite of licensing and royalty administration services. In 2006, Simon took on General Counsel responsibilities. In this area, he integrated the business and legal affairs disciplines to streamline the delivery of new licensing opportunities and strengthened HFA’s in-house transactional capabilities. In tandem with the Finance department, he increased the efficiency of the company’s royalty compliance examination practices by handling more transactions in-house, reducing costs and speeding exam closure.
Before joining HFA, Simon was the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel for Razorfish, Inc. where he helped guided the company’s impressive growth from a small private organization of 18 people into a public company of over 2,000 employees and several hundred million dollars in revenues over five years. He oversaw the acquisition of 18 companies with an aggregate acquisition value of nearly one billion dollars. Prior to Razorfish, he founded Simon Ventures, an artist management and consulting company, whose roster included such major label acts as the Honeydogs and the Gigolo Aunts. Before that, Simon was Senior Director of Legal Affairs at Polygram Records. He also served as an associate in the entertainment and intellectual property law practice of Levine Thall Plotkin & Menin as well as in the corporate, litigation and entertainment practice of Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman. Simon graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and received his Juris Doctor from the Columbia University School of Law.
HFA is the nation’s leading provider of rights management for digital music services, licensing and royalty services for the music industry. With over 46,000 music publishing clients, HFA issues the largest number of licenses for the use of music in both physical and digital formats. Slingshot, HFA’s rights management service offering includes a suite of information management and technology solutions designed to simplify and facilitate the administration of intellectual property rights. As a technology innovator, HFA is leading the industry in establishing global data standards and is a founding member and Board member of the Digital Data Exchange (DDEX). HFA also serves the D.I.Y. market with Songfile®, the company’s fast and easy online licensing tool. Additionally, for the past four years HFA was recognized by InformationWeek on its Top 500 Relentless Innovators list. For more information about HFA visit harryfox.com and hfaslingshot.com.