Epitaphs Dave Hansen Elected Merlin Chairman, Replacing Martin Mills

Marc Schneider | December 07, 2017

Epitaph executive Dave Hansen has been chosen to replace Beggars Group founder Martin Mills as chairman of the Merlin board. Merlin, the global rights agency which negotiates with digital services on behalf of independent labels, announced biennial board election results on Wednesday that will also add five new members to the 15-strong board that oversees Merlin strategy.

Martin has served in the role since 2011, having succeeded the organization's first chairman Bob Frank. "Merlin has played a crucial role for independents in the digital marketplace, and it has been a real honour and pleasure to chair it," said Martin, who'll remain on the board. "I'm very happy, at this point, to pass the chairmanship to Dave, who I know will be a great successor, and look forward to continuing to play a central role in the organisation."

Hansen (pictured at right below) currently serves as Epitaph’s senior vp of business development and until recently was a board member of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). "It is an immense honour to be elected to serve as the new chairman of Merlin,"he said. "I will continue to work closely with Martin Mills, Charles Caldas and the entire Merlin board and staff to deliver big results for our members around the world.”

According to Merlin, this year saw a record number of candidates standing for election, as well as the highest ever percentage of votes cast by Merlin members. Board seats are divided into three territories, with five members each for North America, Europe and R.O.W. (rest of the world). New members include Bob Roback (Isolation Network, USA), Nando Luaces (Altafonte Network, Spain), Bruno Guez (Revelator, Israel), Chris Maund (Mushroom Group, Australia) and Masahiro "Jack" Oishi (Maverick D.C., Japan).

The newly elected board (full list below) will serve through 2019.

North America
Bob Roback, Isolation Network (US)
Darius Van Arman, Secretly Group (US)
Dave Hansen, Epitaph Records (US) & Merlin Chairman
Justin West, Secret City Records (Canada)
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy (US)

Europe
Emmanuel De Buretel, Because Music (France)
Horst Weidenmueller, !K7 Records (Germany)
Martin Mills, Beggars, Group (UK)  
Michel Lambot, PIAS Group (Belgium)
Nando Luaces, Altafonte Network (Spain)

R.O.W.
Bruno Guez, Revelator Ltd (Israel)  
Chris Maund, Mushroom Group (Australia)  
​Luciana Pegorer, Delira Musica (Brazil)
Masahiro “Jack" Oishi, Maverick D.C. (Japan)  
​Yoel Kenan, Africori (South Africa) 

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About the author: Marc Schneider Contributing Editor