Sir Lucian Grainge, CBE
Chairman + CEO, Universal Music Group
Sir Lucian Grainge has spent his entire career in the music industry and has signed and worked with many worldwide stars, including ABBA, Elton John, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Queen, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, U2, Amy Winehouse and many others. Grainge joined Universal Music in 1986 to launch PolyGram Music Publishing UK. Within five years, he had led the fledgling division to become one of the top three publishing companies in the UK. In 2005, Grainge was named Chairman and Chief Executive of Universal Music Group International, gaining oversight of global operations outside the U.S. Grainge was appointed CEO of UMG in 2010 and promoted in 2011 to Chairman and CEO. During his leadership, In 2011, he led UMG’s successful acquisition of the recorded music assets of the legendary British music company EMI, revitalizing its iconic Capitol Records, and, in the process, further strengthening UMG’s position as the global leader in music. Under his leadership, the company set numerous creative records including being the first music company with nine of the top 10 songs on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart and the first music company to score all 10 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2016, 2015 and 2013, Grainge topped Billboard Magazine’s “Power 100” as the most powerful executive in the music business, the only person to hold that distinction three times. In 2016, Berklee College of Music presented Grainge with an honorary doctor of music degree, in 2015 he received the Spirit of Life Award from City of Hope and in 2014, he was awarded the President’s Merit Award by The Recording Academy. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Music Industry Trusts’ Award. A native of London, Sir Lucian was bestowed with a knighthood in 2016 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours list for accomplishments in the music industry and leadership through its challenging times, contributions to British business and inward investment, as well as his development of innovative business models, technology and media partnerships that have expanded UMG’s global presence. For his service to global creative industries, he was recognized in Britain’s New Years Honors and awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010 and in 2011 he was made an Officier des Arts et Lettres by the French Government. In 2013, UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed him as a British Business Ambassador. In 2011, he was named a Trustee of the American Friends of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Grainge serves on the boards of Lionsgate and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
President, STX Entertainment
Sophie Watts has served as President of STX Entertainment since the Company’s inception, playing an instrumental role in its formation alongside co-founder Robert Simonds. Beyond her business acumen, Watts has a diverse creative background as an award-winning film, television and video executive, and is known for her strong talent relationships; she has worked with musical artists including Beyoncé, Elton John, Madonna and Mariah Carey. She has also championed and raised financing for acclaimed and award-winning documentaries such as “Bully.” Watts serves as a judge for the Business Innovation Awards sponsored by the UK Department of Trade and Investment, and is on the Board of BAFTA LA. She has been listed as one of Hollywood’s Top Dealmakers by Variety, has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40, and has been featured in both Variety’s Power of Women report and Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100. Watts has also been recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment.” ELLE Magazine has described her as one of Hollywood’s “next-to-know…heavy hitters.” Watts graduated with a First (summa cum laude) from the University of Cambridge where she specialized in economic history, focusing on the rise of Asia.
The Right Honourable Lord Sebastian Coe, CH KBE
President, International Association of Athletics Federations
Sebastian Coe is Chancellor of Loughborough University, Executive Chairman of CSM Sport and Entertainment and a member of the IOC Tokyo 2020 Coordination Committee and council member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. He was Chairman of the London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, having previously been Chairman of the London 2012 bid company. Seb set 12 world records during his athletics career. At the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980 he won gold in the 1500m and silver in the 800m, a feat which he repeated in Los Angeles in 1984. He retired from competitive athletics in 1990 and became a Member of Parliament and Private Secretary to William Hague. In 2002 he was made a Peer. He received a Knighthood in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List and in 2013 received his Companion of Honour in recognition of the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. Seb is also a Laureus World Sport Academy Member.
Paul J. Wright, Esq.
OBE, BABC LA Chairman, Brit Week Executive Board
Paul J. Wright, Esq. is an English Barrister and California Attorney. In 1990, he formed Paul J. Wright & Associates, a law firm based in Malibu, California specializing in domestic and international transactional and litigation matters. Wright is now Chairman of the British American Business Council, Los Angeles and Board Member and General Counsel of BritWeek. In 2013, Mr. Wright was awarded the OBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his services to British business interests in the United States. As a California attorney, he is extensively consulted on legal and business matters and has been a speaker at a number of distinguished international forums. Mr. Wright selectively advises companies and high net worth individuals in forming, operating and growing businesses, and accessing opportunities, in California and the US.
Andy Bird, CBE
Chairman, Walt Disney International
A native of the United Kingdom, Andy Bird is a Commander of the British Empire. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and literature from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1985. Mr. Bird is now chairman, Walt Disney International, and is responsible for Disney’s business outside of the United States. Since joining The Walt Disney Company in 2004, Mr. Bird has greatly expanded Disney’s presence around the world. With a substantial global footprint across multiple regions such as, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Middle East, Africa, India, Latin America and Russia. Andy leads an organization of over 13,500 cast members with operations in 45 countries around the world. Prior to joining Disney, Mr. Bird spent nearly a decade with Time Warner, joining in 1994 as senior vice president and general manager of Turner Entertainment Networks Limited. He rose to president of TBS International in 2000, and became responsible for all TBS broadcasting outside of the continental U.S.