Cindy Watts, Nashville Tennessean
Published 12:07 p.m. CT Dec. 9, 2019
The Academy of Country Music has a new Chief Executive Officer.
Damon Whiteside, formerly Chief Marketing Officer at the Country Music Association, has been named as the Academy of Country Music’s new CEO. Whiteside is the third person in the Academy’s 55-year history to hold the rank. The news comes months after former CEO Pete Fisher vacated the position.
Whiteside will step into his new role on Jan. 6 and plans to split his time between Nashville and Los Angeles where the Academy of Country Music is based.
“I am extremely proud of the monumental accomplishments that our dedicated team at CMA has been able to achieve these last six years thanks to the support and guidance of the CMA Board and Sarah Trahern,” Whiteside said in a statement. “I am honored and humbled to now be given the responsibility to shape the future of the Academy. I am excited to draw upon my deep passion, unique experience and important relationships across the country music and mainstream entertainment media industries to reinforce the organization’s mission, rejuvenate its influence, and redefine its purpose to benefit the entire country music ecosystem.”
Whiteside has spent 23 years working in the music and entertainment industries – including the last six years he spent at the Country Music Association. He began his career in 1996 at The Walt Disney Company. While there, his work in marketing and partnerships lead to multi-platform marketing and partnership campaigns that achieved more than 100 No. 1 films, TV series, album releases and concert tours.
In 2011, Whiteside formed Nomad Entertainment Group in Hollywood, Calif., where he represented multi-genre music artists, producers and songwriters through the development of marketing and digital campaigns, brand strategy and partnerships.
“We are fortunate to welcome Damon as the Academy’s new CEO,” Ed Warm, Chairman of the ACM Board of Directors, said in a statement. “His experience, commitment and enthusiasm in the country music world are well documented, and we are confident that he will enhance the Academy’s ability to bring together fans, artists and the industry while enabling the organization’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives, to impact more lives than ever before.”
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