UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin exits to become PM Rishi Sunak's director of strategy

UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin exits to become PM Rishi Sunak's director of strategy

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is to leave the organisation after three years to become the Prime Minister’s director of strategy.

Njoku-Goodwin joined UK Music in September 2020 as CEO and helped steer the sector through the Covid-19 pandemic. He was previously a special adviser to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and also worked as a special adviser at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

In addition to helping secure financial support for the music sector during the pandemic, he played a key role in drawing up the new National Plan for Music Education. He helped lead efforts that secured the safe return of live music after its shutdown due to the pandemic, and boosted UK Music’s work on diversity and inclusion.  

More recently, Njoku-Goodwin has coordinated the sector’s response to the challenges posed by the impact of artificial intelligence, stressing the need for effective copyright protection.  

UK Music chairman Lord Watson said: “Jamie joined UK Music when the sector was in the midst of a crisis due to the impact of Covid. He swiftly played a key role in securing the vital support the industry needed to help get back on its feet.   

“He is a passionate advocate for our sector and has worked tirelessly on behalf of UK Music and our members in our shared determination to grow our industry, create skilled jobs, boost music education and help make the music business an inclusive and welcoming place to work.  

“Over his three years, Jamie has been a stellar success and I can fully understand why the Prime Minister would want him in a very senior Downing Street role. I’m sure he will deploy his considerable skills for the country in the same way he has for the music industry.”  

He added: “We wish him the very best in his new role and look forward to seeing him ensure the government supports our world-leading UK music industry just as strongly as he has done. 

“On a personal note, I’d like to thank Jamie for his friendship, advice and most importantly his very impressive piano playing. We will all miss him, but know he will make a difference in his new role.”  

Outgoing UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “The UK music industry is one of this country’s great national assets, and it’s been a privilege to represent it for the past three years. Leading UK Music through what was the toughest of times for our sector during the pandemic, when the music industry faced an existential struggle, has been an immense honour. I’m delighted our sector is in much better shape now to take on the challenges and opportunities it faces in the future.

“I would like to thank Tom Watson, the UK Music board and the fantastic team at UK Music for all their hard work and dedication. And also the countless people across the sector who have been so supportive of me over the past three years. I wish UK Music every success for the future, and hope policymakers continue to give it the support it needs and deserves.” 

I hope policymakers continue to give UK Music the support it needs and deserves

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin

Njoku-Goodwin is a trustee of Britten Pears Arts, and sits on the board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Arts Council England’s National Council. He is also a member of the Council of the Royal College of Music. 

UK Music deputy chief executive Tom Kiehl will be interim chief executive.

Members of UK Music have thanked Jamie for his contribution.

AIM CEO Silvia Montello said: “AIM would like to sincerely thank Jamie for his commitment and hard work at the helm of UK Music. Bringing together the broad range of voices and stakeholders across the UK’s rich and diverse music industry, can at times be an unenviable task, one which Jamie has fulfilled with great diligence, passion and a collaborative spirit. His role in representing the industry’s needs and common goals to government and policymakers has been very much appreciated and we wish him all the best in his new role.”

BPI chief executive Dr Jo Twist said: “We thank Jamie for the important contribution he has made during his time as CEO of UK Music, and particularly for his leadership in helping to bring our industry through the difficult challenges of the Covid pandemic. His championing of creative arts education and the talent pipeline, matched by his recognition of the power of music to promote wellbeing, ensures that he leaves a valued legacy across the music community. The BPI and our members wish him well in his new role.” 

Ivors Academy CEO Graham Davies said: “The Ivors Academy thanks Jamie for his fantastic work leading UK Music over the past three years. He has advocated for the importance of music for education, for the economy, for our national identity, and the wellbeing of our society. We look forward to working with Jamie in his new position ensuring music remains central to the government’s future strategy.”

“The FAC would like to extend its gratitude to Jamie Njoku-Goodwin for his leadership during his tenure as CEO of UK Music,” said the Featured Artists Coalition in a statement. “He has navigated the organisation through a profound period of challenge and change within the industry. Jamie has been a visible figure for our sector and has consistently advocated for the centrality of artists within the UK music landscape. We wish him well as he takes up his new role.”

Music Managers Forum chief executive Annabella Coldrick said: “Congratulations to Jamie on his move into such an important job at the heart of government. Over the past three years he has been a massive champion of the LetTheMusicMove campaign tackling issues with the costs of touring both in the context of Brexit but also US visa fees amongst other important issues for artists. We wish him well in the new post and know he will remain in touch as music is in his soul.”

Paul Clements, CEO, Music Publishers Association, said: “Jamie has been an incredible champion for the UK music industry. He has been instrumental in so many positive initiatives which have benefited the music industry including our MPA members, from the Covid financial support packages made available by UK government throughout the Covid pandemic, to the recent text and data mining exception (related to copyright works ingestion for AI machine learning) proposal overturn. Jamie has also championed and supported our hugely important work related to DEI, which is brought to life under the guidance of UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce.  

“Jamie leaves behind a legacy of cooperation and collaboration which I hope will continue across the industry as he embarks on to his next career chapter.While I am sad to be saying goodbye to Jamie, I know that the difference he has made will be felt for years to come. On behalf of the MPA, thank you Jamie for your tenacity and the tireless work ethic you have invested in supporting the entire UK music industry.”

Cameron Craig, Music Producers Guild (MPG) executive director, said: “The Music Producers Guild wishes Jamie the best in his new role as director of strategy for the Prime Minister. He has been an invaluable leader of UK Music for the last three years through one of the most turbulent times for the music industry [including] his hard work on leading the charge on securing a cap on energy prices for recording studios in 2022. With a thorough understanding of the whole music business, he will be a valuable ally at the very heart of government.”

Naomi Pohl, Musicians’ Union general secretary, said: “Jamie has been a uniting force across the music industry and has represented us passionately to decision makers both in government and other sectors. He is very widely respected across genres which has been a huge advantage to UK Music and has shifted us forward in terms of policy and industrial relations. I’m sure he will be a great asset to the team in Number 10.”

PPL CEO Peter Leathem said: “Jamie has been a passionate and highly effective advocate for the UK music community during his time at UK Music. His ability to unite stakeholders and present a strong, single voice to government on the pressing issues facing our sector has been both welcome and valuable. On behalf of everyone at PPL, I wish Jamie all the best in his new role.”

Andrea Czapary Martin, PRS For Music CEO, said: “Jamie has worked tirelessly to support our industry through the most challenging of times. He always passionately advocated policies designed to strengthen and grow our sector, ensuring we remain a world leader and one of this country’s greatest assets. We thank him for his leadership and commitment to UK Music and its members, and wish him all the best in his new role at the heart of government.”


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