Mechanical Licensing Collective names Kris Ahrend as CEO

The Mechanical Licensing Collective has appointed its CEO. The group was formed through the Music Modernization Act, which became law in October 2018, and is tasked with overseeing the new blanket license for digital platforms to use musical works.

Kris Ahrend has been appointed to serve as the MLC’s chief executive effective immediately. He has held a range of positions in legal and business affairs in the music industry, including at Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and Rhino Entertainment.

“Nothing could be more exciting than leading a company that helps ensure songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers receive the money they deserve from digital service providers and offers them new tools to take control of their careers,” Ahrend said. “We will provide songwriters and publishers unprecedented transparency, rights, and the ability to claim what is theirs. Through the MLC, we are committed to improving the system for everyone.”

“Kris was selected by our Board after a months-long competitive process; both his background and vision stood out amongst many qualified candidates,” said MLC board chair Alisa Coleman. “The unique combination of his experience with license administration, his tenure as a business and legal affairs executive in the music industry, and his most recent involvement in leading the design and operation of a large client service organization makes him well-suited to operate the MLC. He has spent his career making sure artists and songwriters get paid, and the Board is thrilled to have found someone whose passion and expertise align so well with the mission of the MLC.”

Anna Washenko