Grammy chief Neil Portnow will exit in 2019

The Recording Academy has revealed that president/CEO Neil Portnow, who has weathered months of criticism following comments at the 2018 Grammy Awards that women need to “step up” in order to see more representation on the annual awards show, will be exiting his post in July 2019.

The statement released by the Academy reads as follows: “The Recording Academy announced today that President/CEO Neil Portnow will begin preparing for a leadership transition after choosing not to seek an extension on his current contract, which expires in July 2019. Portnow shared his plans at the Recording Academy’s semi-annual Board of Trustees meeting last week. Throughout the next year, Portnow will work with the Board to chart out an organizational succession and transition plan, while continuing his current work as active President/CEO of the Recording Academy and MusiCares®, and Chair of the Board of the GRAMMY Museum®.

“The evolution of industries, institutions, and organizations is ultimately the key to their relevance, longevity, and success,” said Portnow. “Having been a member of the Recording Academy for four decades, serving as an elected leader and our President/CEO, I have not only witnessed our evolution, but proudly contributed significantly to the Academy’s growth and stature in the world. When I had the honor of being selected to lead this great organization in 2002, I vowed that on my watch, for the first time in our history, we would have a thoughtful, well-planned, and collegial transition. With a little more than a year remaining on my current contract, I’ve decided that this is an appropriate time to deliver on that promise. Accordingly, 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. I truly look forward to continuing my role leading the Academy in the year ahead, and to continuing the pursuit of excellence and the fine missions we embrace and deliver.”

Portnow, who, prior to serving as President/CEO, served on the Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees, is largely credited with strengthening the Recording Academy’s financial health and brand.

“Since taking the helm in 2002, Neil has been instrumental in evolving the Recording Academy to address the needs of our creative community in a changing music landscape,” said John Poppo, Chair of the Board. “From critically-important music advocacy initiatives and financial assistance for our music community to the music education and preservation programs of the GRAMMY Museum and GRAMMY Music Education Coalition, Neil has not only advanced the Academy’s mission, he’s extended its reach and impact. The Board and I are indebted to Neil for his years of heartful stewardship and visionary leadership. And, as we thank him for all he’s done, we also look forward to finding the right person to build on our solid foundation as the Recording Academy continues its work to ensure that music and the recording arts remain a thriving part of our cultural heritage.”

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GRAMMYs 2018: Inside the after-parties
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GRAMMYs 2018: Inside the after-parties
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Rita Ora and Andrew Watt head to a post-Grammy party on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Recording Artist Dupa Lipa attends the Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party to celebrate the Grammy Awards presented by American Airlines and Citi at Spring Studios in New York City on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)
Eve attends the Universal after party after the 60th Grammy awards ceremony in New York on January 28, 2018 / AFP PHOTO / Steven FERDMAN (Photo credit should read STEVEN FERDMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Normani Kordei attends the 60th Annual Grammy Awards after party hosted by Benny Blanco and Diplo with SVEDKA Vodka and Interscope Records on January 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for SVEDKA Vodka)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Camila Cabello is seen in the Meat Packing District on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Erykah Badu performs at Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party to celebrate the Grammy Awards supported by The House Of Remy Martin at Spring Studios on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Remy Martin)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Comedians Sarah Silverman (L) and Dave Chappelle attend Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party to celebrate the Grammy Awards supported by The House Of Remy Martin at Spring Studios on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Remy Martin)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Andrew Taggart (L) and Alex Pall are seen in the Meat Packing District on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Ryan Hurd (L) and Maren Morris are seen in the Meat Packing District on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Iskra Lawrence is seen in the Meat Packing District on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

Jasmine Sanders (center) and Terrance J (right) celebrated music's biggest night at LIV on Sunday at Marquee NY with specialty cocktails served by Tanqueray No. TEN.

(Credit: Marquee NY/Chris Lavado)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Kesha is seen in the Meat Packing District on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Rita Ora attends the 60th Annual Grammy Awards after party hosted by Benny Blanco and Diplo with SVEDKA Vodka and Interscope Records on January 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for SVEDKA Vodka)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Actor Jessica Williams attends the Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party to celebrate the Grammy Awards presented by American Airlines and Citi at Spring Studios in New York City on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Thomas Rhett attends the 60th Annual Grammy Awards after party hosted by Benny Blanco and Diplo with SVEDKA Vodka and Interscope Records on January 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for SVEDKA Vodka)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Diplo (L) and Dua Lipa attend the 60th Annual Grammy Awards after party hosted by Benny Blanco and Diplo with SVEDKA Vodka and Interscope Records on January 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for SVEDKA Vodka)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: (L-R) Musical artists Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Rob Stringer, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Nashville Randy Goodman, and Manager Janet Weir attend the Sony Music Entertainment 2018 Post-Grammy Reception on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Comedian Dave Chappelle attends the Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party To Celebrate the Grammy Awards presented by American Airlines and Citi at Spring Studios in New York City on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Recording artist Maren Morris attends the Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party to celebrate the Grammy Awards presented by American Airlines and Citi at Spring Studios in New York City on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Rita Ora and Andrew Watt head to a post-Grammy party on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Recording artists Young Paris (L) and Eve attends Universal Music Group's 2018 After Party to celebrate the Grammy Awards supported by The House Of Remy Martin at Spring Studios on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Remy Martin)
Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson attend the Universal after party after the 60th Grammy awards ceremony in New York on January 28, 2018 / AFP PHOTO / Steven FERDMAN (Photo credit should read STEVEN FERDMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Drew Taggart, Adam Alpert, and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers attend the Sony Music Entertainment 2018 Post-Grammy Reception on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Rachel Platten is seen in the Meat Packing District on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Rihanna seen at 1-Oak nightclub after partying with rumor boyfriend Hassan Jameel after attending the 2018 Grammy Awards after party on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
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