Warner Music Group (WMG) has officially announced Carletta Higginson’s appointment as their executive vice president, chief digital officer, effective from October 16. With a history rooted in media rights and executive roles, Higginson brings to the table significant expertise that WMG values.
Higginson’s previous role was at Google, where she held the position of global head of music publishing for YouTube and Google Play. Her responsibilities there included developing the platform’s licensing strategy, establishing and maintaining relationships with publishers and Performance Rights Organizations (PROs), and driving new business opportunities. She also played a key role in initiating partnerships and aiding artists, songwriters, and producers on the platform.
Before joining Google, Higginson’s career began in the legal field, specifically as a securities litigator. She later specialized in content, media, and entertainment. In 2011, Higginson became a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, focusing on litigation in the music industry. Her work in this capacity was significant, particularly in defending copyright owners in various cases.
Based in New York, Higginson will now be reporting directly to WMG CEO Robert Kyncl. In her new role at WMG, she will be responsible for managing the company’s global digital partnerships, from the initiation of deals to account management. She will also lead efforts in seeking new digital partnerships and exploring avenues for commercial innovation.
On her appointment, Kyncl highlighted Higginson’s understanding of the music publishing and recorded music businesses. He mentioned her proficiency in areas such as streaming, social media, and AI, emphasizing her suitability for the role.
Kyncl adds, “As we pioneer the future of music with our artists and songwriters, [Higginson will] be an invaluable addition to our senior management team.”
Higginson expressed her excitement about joining WMG, especially given her familiarity and previous collaborations with the team.
“This is a very exciting time to be in music with many new avenues opening up. I’ve worked closely with the outstanding team at WMG for many years, and I’m very happy to be joining Robert and everyone at WMG to help chart the future together. Above all, I’m a huge fan of the company’s incredible roster of songwriters and artists,” says Higginson.
The announcement of Higginson’s appointment follows the news of Oana Ruxandra’s departure from WMG. Kyncl thanked Ruxandra for her contributions and wished her well for her future endeavors.
Higginson is a recognized figure in the music industry, having been named one of the most powerful Women in Music by Billboard in 2018 and 2020 and one of Variety’s New York Women of Impact in 2022. She holds a JD from Columbia Law School and a BA from NYU. Her affiliations include the Whitman Circle of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Advisory Board for Sound Thinking NYC.
WMG, with its long-standing history in the music industry, operates in over 70 countries. With Higginson’s appointment, the company aims to strengthen its digital strategy and offerings in the evolving music landscape.