Sony Music France appoints its first female CEO: Marie-Anne Robert
Believe was listed on the stock market in June on Euronext Paris.
Robert succeeds Stephane Le Tavernier, who suddenly resigned in January 2020 out of court, Sony said, after a decade at the French printing press. Daniel Lieberberg, Sony Music Entertainment’s president for continental Europe and Africa, has led the French operation in the meantime.
Robert comes at a time when the French music industry is grappling with #Metoo allegations. Since the end of 2020, several music producers – including one at Sony, Columbia France – and at least one musical executive have been the subject of an investigation by labels or French authorities, and at least one French executive has been dismissed. (Producers and executives have denied the claims.)
Music revenue in France fell 1.2% in 2020 to $ 1.0 billion, mainly due to a drop in physical income and performing rights, according to IFPI’s Global Music Report . Streaming subscription revenue grew 23%, surpassing the global growth rate of 18.5%. This made 2020 the very first year that the recorded music market in France derived more than half of its total revenue from streaming formats.
In a statement, Lieberberg cited Robert’s international experience – she worked for independent labels and majors in several genres – as the key to her hiring. “Marie-Anne’s unique expertise combines a digital and data-driven approach with creativity and strong artist relationships, which fits perfectly with the culture of Sony Music,” he said.
Robert has over two decades of industry experience. Prior to Believe, she was based in New York City as International Vice President at TuneCore, Believe’s digital music distribution subsidiary. There she led the company’s international expansion and launched the service in France, Germany, Italy, UK and Australia.
Previously, she also led video operations at Believe Digital Studios for France, Middle East and Africa, and prior to that she was Marketing Director of Believe.
Robert has deep roots in hip-hop, having started his career in 1998 as a volunteer industry relations and artist interview manager for Lehiphop.com, the French-language hip-hop site. After a series of label internships, she landed at Virgin Music France in 2005 in the image department, organizing photo shoots and overseeing music videos and illustrations for artists such as Mano Negra, Moby and Alpha Blondy.
Robert also worked for three years at EMI as a senior project manager in the marketing department, where she worked with artists such as Alain Souchon, Renaud, Camille, David Guetta and Yann Tiersen, before joining Believe in 2009.
In addition to his work with labels, Robert supports women entrepreneurs in the music industry as an active member of MEWEM (mentoring program for women entrepreneurs in the music industry).