Billboard Magazine: Mechanical Licensing Collective Names New CEO

Nashville music exec Kris Ahrend will run the organization created under the 2018 Music Modernization Act.

The months-long search for a Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) leader is over. The board has selected music executive Kris Ahrend as CEO of the organization, which was designated by the U.S. Copyright Office as a new entity to license and administer rights under the 2018 Music Modernization Act.

The Nashville-based exec has spent the past six years in executive roles within Warner Music Group, where he helped create and lead its legal, financial and administrative shared services organization. His appointment to the MLC is effective immediately.

"The unique combination of his experience with license administration, his tenure as a business and legal affairs executive in the music industry, and his most recent involvement in leading the design and operation of a large client service organization makes him well-suited to operate the MLC," commented MLC board chair Alisa Coleman. "He has spent his career making sure artists and songwriters get paid, and the Board is thrilled to have found someone whose passion and expertise align so well with the mission of the MLC.” 

A graduate of Binghamton University and the Washington & Lee School of Law, Ahrend worked as a law clerk for the Western District of the Virginia District Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, before joining the intellectual property and litigation group of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP in New York. 

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"Kris’s deep experience in the industry, as well as his track record of building successful teams to tackle challenging problems within the music industry will be invaluable as the MLC gears up to officially launch next year. The streaming services look forward to working with him and his team as we continue to fulfill our commitment to building a better system that works for creators and fans alike.”