Ged Doherty

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Ged Doherty
Ged Doherty 2017.jpg
Born 1958
Citizenship British
Alma mater Sheffield Hallam University
Occupation Chairman, British Phonographic Industry and the BRIT Awards Ltd
CEO and co-founder Raindog Films
Years active 1982 - present
Organization BAFTA
Producers Guild of America
Board member of BRIT Trust (trustee)
UK Music
BPI Diversity Task Force (co-chair)

Ged Doherty is a British music and film industry executive. The chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and BRIT Awards Limited and the co-founder of Raindog Films, Doherty was previously the chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Doherty was born in Glasgow, and raised in Wythenshawe, England.[3] A lifelong music fan, he played drums with local bands in Manchester as a teenager before moving to Sheffield, where he attended Sheffield Hallam University (then known as Sheffield Polytechnic).[4] As a student, he booked bands at the university, including The Damned, AC/DC, and Elvis Costello, and worked at the Sheffield Limit Club, where he booked Siouxsie and the Banshees to perform on the club's opening night.[2][5][6] With frequent shows by artists such as Cabaret Voltaire, Human League, and Heaven 17, the Limit Club became a central element of the electro pop movement of the late 70s and early 80s.[7]


Following his graduation, Doherty founded a management company. Among other artists, he managed Paul Young and Alison Moyet, who collectively sold more than 20 million albums.[8][9] He was recruited by Epic Records in 1992; based in New York, he worked with artists including Michael Jackson, Oasis and Pearl Jam as the head of international marketing for the label. In 1996 he was named managing director of Columbia Records UK and returned to London.[2][10][11]

In 1999, he became managing director of the Arista Label Group, and in 2001 was promoted to president of Arista's parent company, the BMG Music Group. He was widely credited for the revitalization of artists and repertoire at BMG,[12] and when it merged with Sony, he was named president of Sony BMG UK. He was appointed chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK in 2006.[9][13] As the head of Sony Music UK, Doherty revived the Epic label, [14] and oversaw the emergence of artists including Calvin Harris, Beyonce, Kasabian and the Foo Fighters. He also negotiated the "all important" 2010 global joint venture with Simon Cowell and Syco. In naming Doherty to their "Music Power 100" list in 2011, The Guardian wrote: "Behind the scenes (Doherty) has built a reputation as a shrewd strategist and an innovative taker of calculated business risks. Under Doherty's watch, Sony was the first major to restructure its promotional teams to reflect the way new media blurs boundaries between print and broadcast, and some of his senior appointments have been radical." [15]

In 2012, Doherty co-founded Raindog Films Ltd. with Colin Firth, a film production company based in London. Its first feature, Eye in the Sky, was directed by Gavin Hood and starred Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and was released theatrically in April 2016. The film grossed more than $38 million, becoming one of the best performing independent films of the year.[16][17] Raindog's second film, Loving, written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starred Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016.[18] Negga was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Mildred Loving, and the film won the Producers Guild of America Stanley Kramer Award.[19]

Doherty was appointed chairman of BPI and the BRIT Awards in December 2014.[20] In 2016, the BRITs were criticized for a lack of diversity; no minority nominees won awards. Several days after the awards, Doherty published an open letter in The Guardian acknowledging that the organization needed to address the issue, stating that the responsibility to diversify the BRITS voting membership sat firmly in his lap.[21] With the input of a committee of prominent black and Asian media and music professionals,[22] 700 music industry figures were invited to vote for the following year's BRITS, resulting in a 2017 invitation list with 52% male, 48% female, and 17% BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) representation.[23] The 2017 BRIT nominees included artists linked to the "thriving UK urban music scene," reflecting the change in the voting body. [24]


  1. ^ Billboard Staff (December 11, 2014). "British Trade Body BPI Appoints New Chairman". Billboard. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Gibson, Owen (February 18, 2008). "'It's the wild west out there'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "BBC Local Live: Greater Manchester". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  4. ^ "London's 1000 most influential people 2010: Pop & Rock". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Ben (February 13, 2009). "The State of the UK's Pop Music Industry". Financial Times. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  6. ^ "The Doherty CV". Music Week. July 15, 2006. p. 6. 
  7. ^ Price, Simon (2004-04-24). "Why Sheffield?". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  8. ^ Ingham, Tim (December 12, 2014). "Doherty Returns with BPI". Cashbox. Retrieved February 5, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "LISTEN TO OUR STORY ABOUT A MAN NAMED GED". Hits Daily Double. Hits Magazine. July 5, 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Duffy, Thom (April 27, 1996). "Columbia UK Managing Director Named". Billboard. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Music: Here are the People Plucking the Strings". The Standard. October 5, 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  12. ^ Billboard staff (October 9, 2004). "Key Slots Filled at Sony/BMG". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  13. ^ White, Adam (April 10, 1999). "Ged Doherty to Helm Arista UK". Billboard. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Brandle, Lars (June 2, 2007). "Epic Everlasting". Billboard. Retrieved February 5, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Ged Doherty | The Music Power 100 | No 15". the Guardian. 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  16. ^ Barraclough, Leo (April 30, 2014). "CANNES: eOne Partners with Colin Firth, Ged Doherty on 'Eye in the Sky'". Variety. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Brueggerman, Tom (April 28, 2016). "5 Ways That 'Eye in the Sky' Topped the 2016 Specialty Box Office". IndieWire. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  18. ^ Donadio, Rachel (May 16, 2016). "The Film 'Loving,' About a History-Making Interracial Couple, Sets Cannes Abuzz". New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (2016-12-08). "'Loving' to Receive Producers Guild's Stanley Kramer Award". Variety. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  20. ^ Billboard Staff (December 11, 2014). "British Trade Body BPI Appoints New Chairman". Billboard. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  21. ^ Doherty, Ged (2016-03-02). "Brit awards chairman on diversity: 'It was not reflected at this year's ceremony'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  22. ^ Shea, Christopher D. (2016-11-07). "Brit Awards Attempt to Address Lack of Diversity". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  23. ^ Gush, Charlotte (November 7, 2016). "Brit awards diversify voting membership after britssowhite campaign". I-D. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  24. ^ "What The Grammys must learn from The BRITs: When you make a mistake, don't dawdle - fix it - Music Business Worldwide". Music Business Worldwide. 2018-02-12. Retrieved 2018-02-14.