Recording Academy president and CEO Deborah Dugan is out after less than a year on the job and less than two weeks before the group’s biggest event: the 2020 Grammy Awards.
According to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the news, Dugan stepped down entirely after the group’s board placed her on administrative leave to investigate “a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.”
“In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave, effective immediately,” the organization said in a internal memo first published in full by Variety.
“The Board has also retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations. The Board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore the confidence of the Recording Academy’s Membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators,” the memo continued. “Board Chair Harvey Mason Jr. will serve as interim President and CEO pending the conclusion of the investigation. The Recording Academy Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society.”
Details about the accusation of misconduct have not been made public. Representatives for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
Dugan was the first woman to serve in the Grammy Awards organization’s top job. She replaced Neil Portnow, who had served in the role since 2002 but stepped down in 2018 after an open letter from a group of female music executives called for his resignation. The group cited the lack of female representation at the 2018 Grammy Awards, and Portnow’s comments during the post-ceremony press conference where he said that women need to “step up” if they want to improve the gender imbalance in the music industry.
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