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Speaker Request and invitation
 
 
David Munns
David Munns is vice chairman of EMI Music worldwide and also chairman and CEO of EMI Music North America. In October 2001, Munns and EMI Music Chairman Alain Levy took the reigns at EMI Music -- home to some of the world’s greatest recordings from artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and Pink Floyd -- at one of the music industry’s most challenging times. He and Levy have since driven a profound transformation of the world’s largest independent music company, creating an organization designed to meet the changing demands of the digital age.

Munns, who began his music business career at EMI in 1972, is known for global marketing prowess and his strong relationships with the artist community. During Munns’ tenure, EMI has helped break some of the world’s biggest stars and has produced some of the world’s biggest-selling and most critically-acclaimed albums from artists such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Coldplay, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, Joss Stone, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban, Robbie Williams and more.

Under Munns’ watch, EMI Music has transformed how it makes music available to its retail partners and consumers, by signing agreements with hundreds of digital partners to distribute its music across the globe. He continues to drive the company to embrace a growing range of new digital business models, such as advertising supported mobile video to legal peer-to-peer music services, which will enable fans to experience and purchase what its artists create through a number of different platforms and services.

Munns cut his teeth working as an advertising clerk in the marketing department at the EMI’s London headquarters back in 1972, where his main task was distributing sales figures. He subsequently rose through various marketing positions, including product manager for Paul McCartney and the first Wings album, and handling marketing for artists such as Dr Hook and Kraftwerk. In 1979 Munns moved to EMI Canada and held various posts, including vice president of marketing. In 1984 he returned to EMI UK as head of A&R and marketing where he worked with artists such as Kate Bush, Queen and Pet Shop Boys.

In 1987 Munns moved to PolyGram as managing director of Polydor UK where he worked with such artists as The Cure, the Bee Gees, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Style Council and Van Morrison. In 1991 he was promoted to the worldwide position of senior vice president – pop marketing for PolyGram, reporting to then president and CEO Alain Levy. In this position, Munns was responsible for overseeing the company’s frontline repertoire across the 53 subsidiaries of PolyGram. From 1994 to 1999 he was also a board director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group in which PolyGram had acquired a 30 per cent stake.

After deciding to leave PolyGram in 1998, Munns became manager of Jon Bon Jovi, helping the band Bon Jovi to sell over seven million copies of their album Crush.

For the past decade, Munns has been a board member of music therapy non-profit Nordoff-Robbins, and since 1997, he has been the chairman of the Music Industry Trust charitable organisation in the UK. In 2004 he was honored as ‘Music Visionary of the Year’ by the UJA Federation-New York.

  • Session: Disruption Opportunity: The Pirate and the Suit
  David Munns