When It Rains, It Pours: Hipgnosis Grapples With High-Level Executive Departures Amid Catalog-Selloff Rumors

  • Save

  • Save
Photo Credit: Ruthson Zimmerman

On the heels of reports that Hipgnosis Songs Fund (LON: SONG) could potentially sell one or more catalogs ahead of a shareholder meeting, the publicly traded entity’s Blackstone-powered “investment advisor” has experienced multiple high-profile departures.

The executive exits of Hipgnosis Song Management (and seemingly the aforementioned fund as well) emerged in a series of LinkedIn posts, an announcement message from Hipgnosis, and a report from Billboard. The official release, for its part, communicated that Ted Cockle had ceased serving as chief music officer.

“Given our decision to focus our marketing in the US, Ted Cockle, our Chief Music Officer, will not be moving long term with the Company,” Hipgnosis head Merck Mercuriadis relayed in a statement. “He’ll work on the transition to America over the coming weeks. I would like to thank Ted for all he has done for Hipgnosis and I hope there will be opportunities for Ted and Hipgnosis to work together again in the future.”

Meanwhile, EVP of digital and innovation Tony Barnes four months back announced plans to stay aboard Hipgnosis “for a few more months” before shifting his focus and professional efforts to his Karta startup, further indicating that “leaving was not an easy decision.”

Lastly, in terms of (relatively) recent Hipgnosis executive-level personnel changes, global president of sync and creative Tom Stingemore has departed as well, per the mentioned outlet and a LinkedIn post. “I joined Hipgnosis at the start of 2021, to build out the company’s Sync & Creative operation,” Stingemore wrote. “As the division is now fully up & running, my mission is complete.”

Incidentally, Hipgnosis has likewise brought on new team members, including execs, since March – and several of these appointments entered the media spotlight today, in tandem with the publishing of HSF’s annual report. Specifically, HSM’s sync assistant this morning disclosed that she’d been elevated to coordinator of sync management.

Additionally, Danny Bennett is now EVP and Patrick Joest has become head of sync at HSM, Hipgnosis revealed in the aforesaid formal release. (Having signed on as EVP of content creation earlier in 2023, Concord vet Sara Lord was also acknowledged as a new hire in the same announcement message.)

With a high-profile Hipgnosis Songs Fund annual meeting – and continuation vote – set for September, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for any other executive-level changes in the approaching weeks. At the time of this writing, HSF was trading for GBX 74.20 ($0.97 at the present exchange rate) per share – for a market cap of £912.96 million ($1.20 billion).