As Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), one of the world’s leading global music publishing companies, Jody Gerson is an accomplished music publishing executive with over three decades experience whose exceptional ability to identify and develop talent has earned her a reputation as one of the industry’s preeminent creative executives.
Gerson oversees all global activities of the publishing company, which publishes some of the most popular and legendary songwriters and artists in music. Prior to joining UMPG, Gerson served as Co-President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a position she assumed in 2008. Her first signing at Sony/ATV was then unknown singer/songwriter Lady Gaga, who went on to become one of the most successful artists and songwriters in the world. During her career, Gerson has also signed and nurtured the careers of such artists and songwriters as Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias, Pharrell Williams, Norah Jones, Matt Miller, Pitbull, RedOne, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Jeff Bhasker, among others.
Gerson began her publishing career at Chappell music (the predecessor to Warner/Chappell) where she worked with numerous songwriters and recording artists including Bernie Taupin, R.E.M. and Rod Stewart. After six years at Chappell, Gerson joined EMI as head of the company’s east coast publishing division. After successfully managing the east coast operations, in 1991, Gerson was tasked with revitalizing EMI’s west coast division. It was there that she assembled a roster of some of the most critically-acclaimed and successful writers in music including Jermaine Dupri and Dallas Austin who went on to write and produce songs for Janet Jackson, Madonna, Usher, Mariah Carey, and TLC, among many others.
In 1996, Gerson signed the 14 year-old Alicia Keys. Keys’ first album Songs in a Minor was a worldwide hit, winning five Grammy Awards in 2002, including “Best New Artist” and “Song of the Year,” and selling more than 10 million albums worldwide. Also that year, Gerson signed Norah Jones, and in 2003, Jones earned five Grammy Awards for her album Come Away with Me.
Outside of her work in music, Gerson has also been active in film, serving as a producer of the successful films Drumline and ATL and as executive producer for VH1’s Drumline 2.