Irwin Z. Robinson, Chairman of the Boards of the Harry Fox Agency (HFA) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) announced that Michael S. Simon has been promoted to President and CEO for HFA. Simon was previously the organization’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, General Counsel and Chief Strategic Officer. Simon succeeds Gary L. Churgin.
Since he first joined HFA 11 years ago, Simon focused his efforts on creating new opportunities for the company and the over 46,000 publishers it represents while also improving HFA’s traditional mechanical licensing business. Initially, his role included oversight of the Licensing Department where he instituted new technology and business processes to better manage the administration of the over 200,000 physical product licenses and millions of digital licenses issued by HFA per year. These Licensing improvements supported the new opportunities created by the Business Development team including arrangements for online music and music video services, ringtones, Express Live recordings, lyrics, guitar tablature, background music, digital jukeboxes, and other new media opportunities, as well as the development of a full suite of licensing and royalty administration services.
In 2006, Simon took on General Counsel responsibilities. In this area, he integrated the business and legal affairs disciplines to streamline the delivery of new licensing opportunities and strengthened HFA’s in-house transactional capabilities. In tandem with the Finance department, he increased the efficiency of the company’s royalty compliance examination practices by handling more transactions in-house, reducing costs and speeding exam closure.
Before joining HFA, Simon was the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel for Razorfish, Inc. where he helped guide the company’s impressive growth from a small private organization of 18 people into a public company of over 2,000 employees and several hundred million dollars in revenues over five years. He oversaw the acquisition of 18 companies with an aggregate acquisition value of nearly one billion dollars. Prior to Razorfish, he founded Simon Ventures, an artist management and consulting company, whose roster included such major label acts as the Honeydogs and the Gigolo Aunts. Before that, Simon was Senior Director of Legal Affairs at Polygram Records. He also served as an associate in the entertainment and intellectual property law practice of Levine Thall Plotkin & Menin as well as in the corporate, litigation and entertainment practice of Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman. Simon graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and received his Juris Doctor from the Columbia University School of Law.