My dear ASCAP colleagues:
After memorably celebrating ASCAP’s 100th anniversary, the time has come for me to share with you the news I shared with the ASCAP Board of Directors several months ago. I have decided to retire at the end of this year. I do so with enormous gratitude for the privilege of serving this great organization for 33 years and with a deep sense of accomplishment for all we have achieved together during my tenure as CEO these past 17 years.
I reflect with enormous pride on what a landmark year it has been for ASCAP and for me personally. When I was asked to take on the job of CEO by the Board back in 1997, we knew it was time to build ASCAP into a new kind of organization that would be ready to meet the demands of the 21st century. And we’ve done that. So many of you have been part of our evolution into the world’s leading performing music rights organization through your commitment to continuous innovation and improvement in all areas of our operation.
I am able to retire with tremendous confidence in ASCAP’s future, knowing that the Board’s search for a new CEO is well underway, with my successor to be named soon. I will do all I can to support the new CEO and ASCAP through the transition. I also know that the new CEO will be able to depend upon all of you -- the most talented, creative and passionate group of employees who will keep working hard for the future of music.
I started my first job when I was just 13 years old at a candy store in my old neighborhood in the Bronx. Since then, I’ve always worked hard and long hours -- first to put myself through college and then to support my family, including Barbara, the love of my life and my wife of 48 years, and our sons Peter and Mark. I turned 70 this year and Barbara and I felt it was finally time for us to enjoy a little more time together doing the things we love.
I started out as an accountant and I never imagined I would end up in a career that brought me the absolute joy of helping to serve and protect the world’s greatest songwriters – many of whom have become great friends. It has been an incredible journey – not always easy, but endlessly exciting and fulfilling.
I want to thank the ASCAP Board of Directors for entrusting me with this position and supporting my work so vigorously for so long. And I especially want to thank my executive leadership team and all of you for your hard work and commitment to excellence.
Thank you all for sharing in this mission and for making my time at ASCAP so wonderful. I look forward to watching you build upon what we have worked together to create and seeing the great things you will all undoubtedly accomplish in the years ahead.