It has been announced that UK Music’s CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin will be leaving the organisation after three years to become Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s director of strategy.
Joining in 2020, Njoku-Goodwin served as CEO of the company and helped steer the sector through the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to UK Music, he worked as a special adviser for former health secretary Matt Hancock and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Njoku-Goodwin also played a major role in creating the new national plan for music education. He led efforts that helped secure the safe return of live music after the COVID shutdown and increased UK Music’s work on diversity and inclusion.
More recently, he coordinated the sector’s response to the challenges posed by the impact of artificial intelligence, stressing the need for effective copyright protection.
The former CEO previously responded to the post-Brexit trade deal back in December.
In a statement, Njoku-Goodwin said the deal was “welcome and has removed some of the uncertainty facing the music industry”, but left “many questions” for the field, including “what it means for touring”.
“The Prime Minister has promised there will be no non-tariff barriers, so it is vital that Government delivers on this promise and ensures there are no barriers to British musicians working and touring through Europe,” he continued. “We will be seeking urgent reassurances on this from Government.
The exec also said UK Music is “eager to take advantages of the opportunities this deal will bring” and noted that Boris Johnson’s proposal to “set new frameworks for the sectors in which the UK leads the world” was “particularly exciting”.
He also previously warned that European tours will be put “at risk” by the new Brexit trade deal. Of the situation, he said the “additional costs and bureaucracy could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.
“There is a real risk that British musicians will not be able to bear the cost of extra bureaucracy and delays which would put some tours at risk,” he continued, the Independent reports.
Njoku-Goodwin’s predictions were correct. As a result, artists who attempted to hit the road again after COVID found themselves on the predicted “rocky road” for the first summer of European touring after Britain left the EU.
Last year, the UK government was warned again that musicians and crew “could find themselves unemployed en masse”, after a hearing at the House Of The Lords revealed the damage already being caused by Brexit on those wishing to tour Europe.
Of his departure from UK Music, Njoku-Goodwin said in a statement: “The UK music industry is one of this country’s great national assets, and it’s been a privilege to represent it for the past three years. Leading UK Music through what was the toughest of times for our sector during the pandemic, when the music industry faced an existential struggle, has been an immense honour. I’m delighted our sector is in much better shape now to take on the challenges and opportunities it faces in the future.
“I would like to thank Tom Watson, the UK Music board and the fantastic team at UK Music for all their hard work and dedication. And also the countless people across the sector who have been so supportive of me over the past three years. I wish UK Music every success for the future, and hope policymakers continue to give it the support it needs and deserves.”