Universal Music Nashville CEO Mike Dungan to Retire

Universal Music Mike Dungan
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Universal Music Mike Dungan
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Photo Credit: Chad Morehead

Universal Music Nashville CEO Mike Dungan announces his upcoming retirement after 43 years in the music industry.

Mike Dungan, the 68-year-old Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group’s Nashville office, has announced his retirement. Current UMG Nashville president Cindy Mabe is expected to assume Dungan’s position beginning in March 2023.

“For 43 years, the music business has been my home — smiling, dialing, selling, hustling, laughing, doing my part to help the art and magic realize its potential. And loving every minute of it,” Dungan said in a memo sent to his staff.

“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.”

“Mike is a unique force,” added UMG’s chairman and CEO, 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, they are 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 (I) 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 Cincinnati native, Dungan’s career started in rock promotion for RCA Records from 1979 to 1987, which included successes with acts like Hall and Oates, The Pointer Sisters, and Rick Springfield. After a brief stop at BMG, he arrived in country music in 1990 as a marketing chief through Clive Davis’ country music division at Arista Records.

In 2002, he was named president at Capitol Nashville and held the position for 12 years before becoming CEO of UMG Nashville. His many successes at the label include Luke Bryan, who became a stadium-touring chart-topper with 30 number-one Billboard Country Airplay chart singles.