Ron Fair, Ashley Burns Named To Exec Positions At Virgin Records
January 23, 2013
Virgin Records has announced a pair of executive appointments, as Ron Fair is named Chief Creative Officer/EVP of the label, and Ashley Burns rises to GM. Fair will report to Steve Barnett, Chairman/CEO of Capitol Music Group. In his new position, Fair is charged with rebuilding Virgin Records across all contemporary music genres, launching its resurgence with an A&R team, helmed by Fair, and a marketing staff helmed by newly appointed GM Burns. Promotion and other centralized functions will be handled by the core teams within Capitol Music Group. Fair will be based in Hollywood at the company’s iconic Capitol Tower.
Barnett said, "Ron Fair is simply one of the most accomplished music executives in our business. In addition to his consummate A&R skills, Ron is a first rate producer, arranger, recording engineer and musical director who is consistently successful and acclaimed for his work. He is exactly who Virgin needs at its helm as we move forward to rebuild the label into a vibrant home for the great artists of the future."
Fair commented, "I am thrilled and humbled to work with Steve Barnett, Greg Thompson and the fabulous team he has assembled for the new Capitol Music Group. This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation – to run and rebuild Virgin Records with focus and creativity, while providing a new musical home for emerging artists with kaleidoscopic opportunities. It was my destiny to return to UMG’s family of companies. Under Steve Barnett’s wing, and alongside my new partner, Ashley Burns, the doors of the Capitol tower are open; we are listening. Thank you, Steve and Lucian [Grainge]."
Fair is a 33-year major-label record company veteran. Over the past decade, Fair served as Chairman of Geffen Records, and previously as President for A&M Records, prior to which he held A&R positions at RCA Records, EMI Records, Island Records, and Chrysalis Records. Most recently, he served as consultant to Irving Azoff /Front Line Management and President of Faircraft/Republic Records.
Meanwhile, Burns has been named GM of Virgin Records. In her new position, Burns will helm the company’s marketing and publicity efforts and work with Capitol Music Group’s core teams to develop and implement sales and promotion plans, as well as utilizing the Group’s other centralized services to benefit Virgin’s artists. Burns will work alongside Ron Fair, and will be based in Hollywood at the Capitol Tower as well.
Burns has spent her entire career as a valued executive within EMI and Capitol. She was most recently EVP, North America for EMI, overseeing the company’s partnerships within the digital, mobile and online spaces – including iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and VEVO – and overseeing digital planning and strategy for EMI artists. Burns also helmed the company’s strategic initiatives and new product development in the digital space. She joined EMI’s Commercial team in 2007 and oversaw the company’s digital sales as Senior Vice President of Commercial Development.
Barnett stated, "Ashley has enjoyed a sterling reputation within Capitol and EMI for many years, and I knew within minutes of meeting her that her diverse skill set would perfectly complement that of Ron Fair’s. We are committed to rebuilding Virgin Records into a powerhouse label, and Ashley’s contributions will be integral to achieving that success. I congratulate her on this well-deserved appointment."
Burns commented, "I am very excited to be working with such an accomplished music executive as Ron Fair, and to help deliver an incredible future for Virgin Records and our artists. I believe wholeheartedly in Steve Barnett’s vision for the Capitol Music Group and am extremely grateful to Steve for the opportunity to be on his team in this exciting new era for the company. I’m honored to get to work with the incredible team of executives that Steve has assembled. A special thank you, also, to Lucian Grange for having the foresight to imagine a bright future for the EMI and Capitol labels."