Ted Cockle, the Universal Music Group stalwart who most recently served as Virgin EMI president, has joined Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs.
Three months after announcing his departure from the U.K. label, Cockle is today (Aug. 8) unveiled as president of Hipgnosis Songs.
Also joining the company is Amy Thomson, a management and marketing veteran who takes the role as chief catalog officer.
The incoming executives will be expected to help “grow and care for songs and their legacy” within the expanding Hipgnosis Songs catalog, reads a statement announcing their arrival.
“It’s a testament to the iconic song catalog that we have assembled over the last two plus years, and our songwriters, that we have been able to attract executives with the extraordinary talent, pedigree and success of Ted and Amy,” comments Mercuriadis, founder Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its Investment Adviser The Family (Music) Limited.
He continues, “I don’t believe there’s a traditional publisher that has brought together this level of expertise to manage its songs. Our results have been strong and with Ted and Amy now on board I look forward to everything their passion and know how will help us to achieve.”
Cockle’s appointment has been a guessing game since his departure from UMG after a decorated 15-year stint, during which time he nurtured the careers of Scottish superstar Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, Emeli Sandé, and many others.
The British exec joined Island Records U.K. in 2005, and swiftly rose from head of marketing to co-president alongside Darcus Beese. He helmed Virgin EMI from the time of the label’s launch in 2013 as a combination of Mercury Records and Virgin Records.
Meanwhile, Thomson comes onboard with Hipgnosis having guided the careers of Swedish House Mafia, DJ Snake and Seal, among others.
Thomson switched gears in December 2019 when she closed her management business to focus on catalog management.
Over the last three years, she “became obsessed with diving into the care of catalog as we see songs become pensions,” Thomson explains in a statement. That obsession drove her to design an online system to help artists find, track and trace their catalog. The project has undergone two test phases and will launch, including with Hipgnosis’ catalogue, in 2021.
Cockle and Thomson join the team following a string of high-profile purchases by Hipgnosis, which has recently included the catalogs (outright or a stake in) of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Blondie, Barry Manilow, Dion “No I.D.” Wilson and more.