After 17 years, Neil Portnow will be succeeded by Deborah Dugan as Recording Academy President, the organization that hosts the Grammys.
Last year a group of female music-industry senior executives called for the Recording Academy president to step down following his comments about female artists. Portnow called on female musicians to “step up” if they expected recognition. While he later claimed his comments did not reflect his opinions, the incident led to the formation of an independent task force into biases against women in the music industry.
In May 2018 Portnow told Billboard he would step down in 2019, saying “The evolution of industries, institutions, and organizations is ultimately the key to their relevance, longevity and success.” He added, “I’ll be working with our Board to put the various elements in place that will ensure transparency, best practices, and the Academy’s ability to find the very best, brightest, and qualified leadership to take us into our seventh decade of operation.”
His replacement, Deborah Dugan, worked from 1990 to 1998 at SBK Records, before moving to EMI/Capitol Records after the companies merged. She worked in the legal department and rose to an executive position there.