Citing shifting consumer patterns, RCA Records has changed its leadership structure. Mark Pitts rises from RCA’s president of urban music to RCA Records president. John Fleckenstein, who had served as co-president since 2018, has been upped to chief operating officer.
Both will continue to report to Peter Edge, the label’s chairman and CEO.
“RCA Records was a different company even just a few years ago,” Edge said in a statement. “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.”
Fleckenstein’s co-president, well-regarded radio promotion veteran Joe Riccitelli, will leave the company, but will provide transitional services on key projects, according to RCA. Respected veteran Geo Bivins, RCA’s evp/GM, departed at the end of 2020.
“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,” Edge continued. “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.”
Label veteran Pitts, who remains CEO of ByStorm Entertainment, has held a number of executive positions at RCA and played a pivotal role in elevating such artists as The Notorious B.I.G., Usher, Miguel and J. Cole. He signed Chris Brown in 2004 and continues to work with the superstar. He helped bring rapper Young Nudy to the label and is working with Grammy-nominated artist Deante Hitchcock. He will focus on driving the label’s creative business operations and its cultural initiatives.
“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,” said Pitts. “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 [Sony Music Group chairman Rob] Stringer for always having my back!”
Fleckenstein, who maintains his current duties while taking on more oversight of the day-to day business operations, came to RCA in 2015, following stints at a number of labels, including running Sony Music’s International team, where he created global campaigns for such artists as Daft Punk, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake. At RCA, he has helped lead breakthroughs by Khalid, Doja Cat, SZA, H.E.R. and Brockhampton, among others, as well as worked with stars Alicia Keys, P!nk and Foo Fighters.
RCA’s overall market share in 2020 was 4.66%, compared with 5.18% in 2019, according to MRC Data, while current market share dipped to 3.57% in 2020 from 4.38%.
Grammy best new artist nominee Doja Cat provided RCA with its top-selling album last year. Her Hot Pink release moved 845,000 album consumption units in 2020, according to MRC Data.
Looking ahead, Jazmine Sullivan, who just released Heaux Tales, her first full-length album since 2015, is expected to have a strong launch, with RCA projecting a Top 10 Billboard 200 debut.
“John has been a tremendous partner working effectively alongside me and across Sony Music globally these past few years driving our business forward,” Edge said. “This new role will give him expanded oversight to reinvigorate all aspects of RCA’s operations.”
Fleckenstein added, “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.”