SANTA MONICA, CA, May 3, 2012 – Furthering the label’s commitment to the growing adult contemporary and pop music markets, Verve Music Group has appointed respected industry marketing veteran Robert Smith to the position of General Manager.  The announcement was made today by Grammy Award winning producer and Chairman of Verve, David Foster, to whom he reports. Mr. Smith will be based in Santa Monica.

Mr. Smith will oversee label activities including marketing, digital, social media and promotional initiatives as Verve continues to expand and develop new artists whose appeal reaches an adult-oriented audience.  Upcoming releases for the label group, which includes non-classical artists from sister label Decca Records, are a David Foster-produced holiday album from Rod Stewart, a fall release from Diana Krall produced by T Bone Burnett, as well as new albums from Rufus Wainwright, Melody Gardot, Keith Harkin (from Celtic Thunder) and Elton John.  Verve also continues its longstanding tradition of being home to the world’s most beloved Jazz artists, old and new, from John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald to Jamie Cullum, Brian Culbertson and Trombone Shorty, while including a broader scope of artists in adult music genres. 

“As we continue to expand Verve into the adult contemporary and pop music markets, Robert is the perfect choice to oversee our day-to-day operations,” stated Mr. Foster. “He possesses a real track record of success and his marketing talents are among the most innovative and forward thinking in the industry.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with David Foster, one of the industry’s most talented and creative producers, in expanding the Verve label,” commented Mr. Smith.  “I’d like to thank Concord and the amazing, legendary artists I had the chance to work with there.  We were fortunate to be able to implement creative marketing initiatives to further feature our artists in non-traditional areas of media and retail, ideas which I hope to expand upon at Verve.”

Prior to joining Verve, Mr. Smith served as Senior Vice President of A&R for Concord Music Group.  While at Concord, he worked closely with many of the label’s most important artists including Paul Simon, James Taylor, Carole King and The Cars, guiding them through Concord’s and Hear Music’s groundbreaking and history-making marketing initiatives.  Before Concord, Mr. Smith was a principal at Nomadic Music, licensing mobile content.  In the past he held various marketing positions, including at UMG’s Geffen Records.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned operations in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation.

Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Republic and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.