Music News

‘A fresh perspective’: BPI appoints gaming exec Jo Twist as new CEO

The BPI, the trade body for independent labels and major record companies across the UK, has appointed gaming industry executive Dr Jo Twist OBE, as its new CEO.

Twist, who is currently CEO of Ukie, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment – a position she has held since 2012 – will take up the role in July. She has also held positions at the BBC and Channel 4 and sits on a number of industry and charity Boards.

BPI chief strategy officer, Sophie Jones, will continue as Interim BPI chief executive until Twist joins, having taken over from Geoff Taylor MBE following his departure in December 2022.

Commenting on her new role, Twist said: "I am delighted to join the BPI at such an exciting time for British music. Having spent the last 25 years working across cutting-edge creative industries I look forward to working with YolanDa (BPI chair), Sophie and the team as they support their label members and the wider music community in fully realising the value of music – growing the market, boosting exports and ensuring the recognition and backing the industry deserves.

“The industry’s talent, so passionately nurtured by innovative major and independent record labels, is world leading, and the BPI plays an important role in creating an environment where labels and their artists can thrive and the next generation of talent can be supported into the industry.”

YolanDa Brown OBE DL, BPI chair, added: “On behalf of the BPI, its Council and members, I am excited to welcome Jo Twist as our new Chief Executive. In what was a competitive recruitment process she showed great passion, drive and a big heart for music. Jo has outstanding credentials and, along with her fresh perspective, she will bring a rich breadth of experience garnered in games and across the creative industries. This will prove invaluable to the BPI and to UK recorded music as we navigate great changes in our industry. We wish her all the very best in the role and keenly look forward to her arrival this Summer.”

Jones also commented: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jo previously, and her exceptional qualities will serve the BPI and our members well. There is much to do to deliver our goals to support continued investment in new talent, keep the UK music sector strong in a hyper-competitive global market and to tackle the new disruptions on the horizon, such as AI. I’m really looking forward to welcoming Jo to the BPI and working with her.”

Brown took over from film producer and ex-head of Sony Music UK Ged Doherty as BPI chair last year. Her appointment followed an extensive search led by the BPI Council to identify suitable candidates with a strong working knowledge of the music industry as well as appreciation of the exciting opportunities and challenging issues that are currently shaping British music.

A champion for the importance of music education, YolanDa is Chair of Youth Music, on the national council of the Arts Council, a trustee of PRS Foundation, an ambassador for both the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund and a champion for the children’s mental health charity Place2Be. She also sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and contributes to the Government’s advisory panel on Music Education.

Brown is a MOBO Award winning saxophonist who in the past has benefitted from Music Export Growth Scheme funding to cross borders with her music. She is a respected broadcaster across TV and radio and known to younger generations through her eponymous series for CBeebies, "YolanDa’s Band Jam" and the music she composes for the iconic Sesame Street.

“There is something special about British music – our artists across many genres and generations have been the soundtrack to people’s lives,” Brown said. “The last few years have been challenging for our music community – we’ve had to evolve, listen more and show greater empathy, address past issues and collaborate to a much greater extent. There’s still more to do, but there are also so many exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

“I am honoured to take on this role as Chair of the BPI. A big thank you to my predecessor Ged Doherty for his drive and dedication, which I will continue to build on. I am looking forward to working with the entire BPI Council and members, CEO Geoff Taylor and his team, labels of all shapes and sizes, and of course artists and the wider industry bodies as we all continue to fly the flag for British music.”