When it rains, it pours: Hipgnosis is struggling with the departure of top executives amid rumors of catalog sales

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When it rains it pours Hipgnosis is struggling with the | Richmcculley

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Credit: Ruthson Zimmerman

Following reports that Hipgnosis Songs Fund (LON: SONG) may sell one or more catalogs before a shareholders meetinging, the public company’s “investment advisor” run by Blackstone, has seen several high-profile exits.

The resignations of executives from Hipgnosis Song Management (and apparently the aforementioned fund as well) were announced in a series of LinkedIn posts, an announcement message from Hipgnosis, and a report from Billboard. In turn, the official press release announced that Ted Cockle had resigned as chief music officer.

“Given our decision to focus our marketing in the US, Ted Cockle, our chief music officer, will not be joining the company long-term,” Hipgnosis CEO Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement. “He will be working on the transition to America in the coming weeks. I want to thank Ted for everything he’s done for Hipgnosis and I hope there are opportunities for Ted and Hipgnosis to work together again in the future.”

Meanwhile, Tony Barnes, EVP of Digital and Innovation, joined four months ago announced plans to remain on board Hipgnosis “for a few more months” before shifting his focus and professional endeavors to his Karta startup, further indicating that “leaving was not an easy decision.”

Finally, in light of the (relatively) recent senior leadership changes at Hipgnosis, Tom Stingemore, Global President of Sync and Creative, has also departed, according to the mentioned outlet and a LinkedIn post. “I joined Hipgnosis in early 2021 to grow the company’s Sync & Creative arm,” says Stingemore wrote. “Now that the department is fully operational, my mission is accomplished.”

Incidentally, since March, Hipgnosis has also hired new team members, including executives – and several of these appointments have come under the media spotlight today, in parallel with the release of the HSF annual report. Specifically, HSM’s sync wizard this morning disclosed that she was appointed coordinator of synchronization management.

Additionally, Danny Bennett is now EVP and Patrick Joest has become Head of Sync at HSM, as announced by Hipgnosis in the official press release referenced above. (Have Registered As EVP for content creation in early 2023, the same announcement message also mentioned Concord vet Sara Lord as a new collaborator.)

With a top-class annual meeting of the Hipgnosis Songs Fund – and continuation vote – planned for September, worth keeping an eye out for more senior level changes in the coming weeks. At the time of writing, HSF was trading for GBX74.20 ($0.97 at the current exchange rate) per share – giving it a market cap of £912.96 million ($1.20 billion).