UMG Nashville's Mike Dungan to step down after more than four decades in the business

UMG Nashville's Mike Dungan to step down after more than four decades in the business

Mike Dungan, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, will step down from his position in March 2023 after more than a decade.

After departing from his role, the hugely experienced country music executive will serve as an advisor to UMG chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge.

Further announcements regarding his successor will follow at a later date. Cindy Mabe, UMG Nashville president, is tipped to take over in the role.

Mike Dungan said: “For 43 years, the music business has been my home – smiling, dialling, selling, hustling, laughing, doing my part to help the art and magic realise its potential. And loving every minute of it. I’ve lived a charmed life, and there are no words to describe how grateful I am, and how blessed I feel, for everyone that I have encountered along the way.  

“I’m also proud to boast that through it all, with little exception, I have been ‘all-in’ as a competitor and as a friend. The solemn truth is that over time, that intensity takes its toll, and a lot of the dog has been knocked out of me. By the time I leave here I will be 69 years old. It is time to slow down - I look forward to devoting more time to my family and to my garden.”

He added: “I am forever grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge, who 11 years ago handed me the keys to the best job in the world. To him and to everyone at UMG, to all of those who have been my family-in-arms now and in the past, to all those creators whose art it has been my pleasure to represent… I am at a loss to express my love and gratitude. I am the luckiest man alive.”  

“Mike is a unique force,” said UMG chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. “He has had an incredible impact on the careers and well-being of so many in Nashville through the years – from artists to employees. After a brilliant four decades in Nashville, and with our team… well positioned for continued strength, Mike is making an admirable and well-deserved life change. And while he won’t be serving in his CEO capacity, I’ve asked him to continue to contribute to areas that we’re both passionate about - breaking genre barriers and delivering critical support to artists past and present.  I am deeply grateful to Mike for all he has done for our company and our artists and congratulate him on his unprecedented career success. I’m so pleased we will continue to have the benefit of his experience, deep relationships and wisdom.”

A veteran of more than 40 years in the music business, Dungan has a long track record as a successful and artist-friendly executive. 

In 2000, Dungan was named president of EMI Music’s Capitol Nashville, where for 12 years he led the label.

In 2012, Dungan joined UMG as chairman and CEO of its Nashville division, which included the reintegration of Capitol Nashville into its ranks, following UMG’s purchase of EMI Records. 

During his tenure, Dungan has overseen the careers of some of country music’s most iconic performers, alongside some of the biggest breakthrough artists of the last decade, including Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, George Strait, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, Maddie & Tae, Gary Allan, Vince Gill, Billy Currington, Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne, Mickey Guyton, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block and Reba. 

Prior to working at EMI, Dungan held positions at RCA and Arista, where he was instrumental in the careers of Brooks Dunn, Alan Jackson, Pam Tillis, Diamond Rio and Brad Paisley. 

Alongside his work at Universal Music Group, Dungan has been a champion of philanthropic causes, including Music Health Alliance, the CMA Foundation, Wounded Warrior, St. Jude, Planned Parenthood, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Second Harvest Food Bank, among others. 


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