Mark Pitts Appointed President, John Fleckenstein Elevated to Chief Operating Officer
NEW YORK, JANUARY 14, 2021 – RCA Records today announced a new leadership structure for a new era for the Company in the rapidly changing music marketplace.
Mark Pitts has been promoted to the role of President of RCA Records, working to grow and drive its Creative Business Operations as well as the Company’s cultural initiatives and further unifying our teams’ effectiveness. John Fleckenstein has been elevated to Chief Operating Officer, where, in addition to his current duties, he takes on more of the Company’s day-to-day business oversight.
Both executives will continue to report to Peter Edge, Chairman & CEO, RCA Records.
Joe Riccitelli will depart the company and provide transitional services to continue his work with key projects.
In making the announcement, Peter Edge said, “RCA Records was a different company even just a few years ago. Over the past decade, there has been a genre shift in consumer demand and streaming has revolutionized every aspect of our business so we must constantly adapt and iterate on our successes.
“Mark has demonstrated tremendous growth as an energetic, unstoppable leader whose unbridled enthusiasm and experience will be invaluable in taking our company to exciting new directions. With his deep relationships and decades of success working with legendary, pioneering artists, he is the ideal partner to help move our creative direction in a renewed, expanded way for the future.”
Continued Edge, “John has been a tremendous partner working effectively alongside me and across Sony Music globally these past few years driving our business forward. This new role will give him expanded oversight to reinvigorate all aspects of RCA’s operations.
“I want to thank Joe for his years helping build RCA for success. He played a key role in building the careers of many of our biggest artists and I look forward to supporting his next chapter.”
Said Pitts, “New title, same energy! It’s no secret that music is a driving force in my life, so being recognized as someone who can continue to guide and motivate the RCA family of groundbreaking artists and fellow executives to further greatness is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I’m blessed to still be in an industry that I’m so passionate about and the picture we paint for ourselves is NEVER completed, so I look forward to more learning and creating culture-defining moments. Excited to work with Fleck and continue to build off of what we’ve established and I have to thank Peter and Coach Stringer for always having my back!”
Fleckenstein commented, “We are an Artist-first company with the best development team in the business. I’m incredibly proud of the RCA Family we have cultivated over the past few years with our fresh creative minds, experienced team leaders and our trailblazing roster. Mark’s passion is unmatched. Bringing his fearless and aggressive drive into the center of the company will be a true game changer for our people and our culture. I’m forever grateful for the ongoing partnership extended by Peter Edge and the support and leadership of Rob Stringer.”
With a remarkable career spanning over 25 years, Pitts was most recently President of Urban Music RCA Records. He will remain CEO and founder of ByStorm Entertainment, a full-service entertainment company that was established in 1998. He has held multiple leadership positions at RCA and has collaborated with ground-breaking genre-creating superstars from The Notorious B.I.G. to J. Cole, Usher to Miguel. After signing Chris Brown in 2004, Pitts continues to be a guiding force in his career as the A&R behind his recent hit single “Go Crazy” with Young Thug as well as the platinum certified smash hit with Drake, “No Guidance.” The Grammy nominated track was one of the biggest selling songs of 2019 and broke the record for the longest #1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart for 27 weeks beating out ByStorm’s own Miguel’s “Adorn” (which Mark also A&R’d). He was a leading factor in bringing Atlanta rapper Young Nudy to the label, champions the burgeoning Brooklyn drill founders Winner’s Circle and Grammy nominated Deante Hitchcock. He continues to be one of the industry’s truest tastemakers mentoring artists and inspiring burgeoning executives. In 2018, Pitts was the recipient of the Council District Arts and Music Award and the Power of Influence Award from the city of New York and has appeared on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop list for multiple consecutive years.
Fleckenstein was most recently co-president of the legendary label. Beginning his career as an intern at Columbia Records, Fleckenstein has held various roles at Arista, Jive Records, as well as relocating to Sydney, Australia to lead marketing and promotion for BMG’s Asia-Pacific Region. These positions ultimately led to Fleckenstein running Sony Music’s International team where he cultivated a vast knowledge of global music strategy, creating bold worldwide campaigns for some of the world’s largest of superstars such as Daft Punk, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and many more. Since joining the RCA team in 2015, his leadership has helped drive a constant string of major new artist break-throughs like Khalid, Doja Cat, SZA, BROCKHAMPTON and others. In addition, his stewardship has helped score the label a plethora of #1 hits, multiple gold, platinum and multiplatinum certifications, competitive signings, and numerous award nominations across a number of artists including Khalid, Justin Timberlake, HER, SZA, Alicia Keys, P!NK, Bryson Tiller, TOOL, Foo Fighters, Pentatonix, and many others.
For RCA Records, 2020 brought the global breakout success of Doja Cat with her #1 platinum selling Hot 100 remix of “Say So” feat. Nicki Minaj plus multiple Grammy nominations including Best New Artist and Record of the Year; H.E.R.’s compelling social justice inspired “I Can’t Breathe” garnered the singer her 13th Grammy nomination in three consecutive years; BROCKHAMPTON’s breakout hit single “Sugar” was certified platinum; Leading the female rap game with new stars Flo Milli and Mulatto whose critically acclaimed debut projects both garnered certified gold singles; Chris Brown & Young Thug’s #1 R&B single “Go Crazy” is currently Top 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and has nearly 600 million streams worldwide; Alicia Keys inspired millions as The Grammy Awards’ host and later released her powerful self-titled 8th studio album; Miley Cyrus’ critically acclaimed album, Plastic Hearts debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart; Kaytranada shined with three Grammy nominations including Best New Artist; The Strokes’ cemented their status as pillars of rock with their Grammy nominated, The New Abnormal; Koffee became the first woman and youngest artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album; Bryson Tiller returned with his highly anticipated critically acclaimed album A N N I V E R S A R Y; genre-bending Fousheé’s buzzed about track “Deep End” exploded on TikTok introducing her to a global audience as an artist on the rise; Pentatonix continued to reign as leaders of the holiday season.
Ending 2020 to lead us into 2021, SZA’s Christmas gift, “Good Days” quickly secured its place at the top of the streaming charts delighting fans and tastemakers alike; Jazmine Sullivan’s critically heralded Heaux Tales is slated to debut top 10 and is currently dominating the cultural conversation; Tate McRae emerged as a global one to watch for 2021 scoring her first platinum record in multiple countries with “you broke me first.”
RCA Records is the historical home of musical legends Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke and Hall and Oates and is the current home to internationally renowned and critically acclaimed artists including Khalid, Childish Gambino, P!NK, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, A$AP Rocky, Kings Of Leon, Britney Spears, ZAYN, Christina Aguilera, G-Eazy, Kesha, D’Angelo, Dave Matthews Band, Miguel, Kirk Franklin, Buddy Guy, Mark Ronson, Cam, Cage The Elephant, Becky G., Bleachers, A$AP Ferg, Kygo, BROCKHAMPTON, Normani, Kevin Abstract, Martin Garrix, Sasha Sloan, and Citizen Queen, among others.
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