Timothy Xu is the new chairman and CEO of Universal Music Greater China (UMGC).

With effect from Monday, Sept. 4, the veteran executive takes the reins of Universal Music Group’s Greater China division, which covers Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

As head of the biggest music company’s business in the world’s most populous market, Xu wields a resume stacked with major label and indie experience.

He joins UMGC from Taihe Music Group, the leading independent music company in China, where he served for the past five years as president and CEO.

Before that, he led Sony Music’ Greater China activities as chairman and CEO, from 2012-16. And earlier, he had roles with EMI Music, EMI Music Publishing China, and Warner Music China, having kicked off his career in 1992 with China National Publications Import & Export Corporation (CNPIEC).

Xu’s appointment follows the retirement of longstanding chairman Sunny Chang earlier in 2023.

“I am thrilled to welcome Timothy to lead our operations in Greater China,” comments Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group in a statement.

“He’s a real music exec, given his deep experience generating creative and commercial success in the region. I’m confident Timothy be instrumental as we continue to drive growth in the exciting and vibrant Chinese music market.”

Adds Adam Granite, UMG’s executive VP, market development, “Having worked together in the past, Timothy’s unique and versatile experience across the sector will bring new opportunities to expand all areas of our business operations within Greater China, whilst also accelerating our focus on introducing Chinese music, culture, and artist talent to new markets and audiences around the world.”

In 2021, UMGC became the first major music company to establish multiple frontline label operations across China with the launch of Republic Records China, and re-launch of historical Chinese labels Polygram Records China and EMI China alongside Universal Music China.

Those moves would reinforce Universal Music’s “commitment to accelerating and introducing the next wave of Chinese music talent to the world across a variety of genres,” the company said in a press release at the time.

Lars Brandle
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