Max Hole was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group International (UMGI) until October 2015 when he retired. Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, is the world’s leading recorded music and publishing company. UMGI is the division which manages its businesses in more than 50 countries outside the United States. As Chairman and CEO of the international business, Max was responsible for the operations of Universal Music’s territories and regions ex USA, and for the central functions at its headquarters in London. He was also a member of the senior executive board of Universal Music Group.
Max has been closely involved with the careers of artists from all corners of the world, including Bon Jovi, Juanes, Enrique Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli, Girls’ Generation, Alejandro Sanz, Lionel Richie, Sting and Sa Dingding. He has also played a central role in bringing stars such as Taylor Swift, the Eagles, Queen, Bryan Adams and Avicii to Universal Music, and securing the company’s partnership with global music TV smash “The Voice”.
In addition, Max led UMG’s worldwide classical music business, including the iconic Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics labels. Signed to these imprints are such extraordinary performers as Daniel Barenboim, Cecilia Bartoli, Gustavo Dudamel, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. Since September 2012, Max was a board member of the English National Opera, Britain’s only full-time repertory opera company. He also served on the main board of directors of IFPI, the global recording industry trade organisation, which represents 1400 member companies in 66 countries.
In 2011, Max galvanised his music industry peers to help raise funds for Japanese disaster relief through the superstar “Songs for Japan” compilation album, which yielded close to $10 million for the Japanese Red Cross. He joined the board of the EMI Music Sound Foundation in March 2013; the charity has sponsored 36 specialist music and performing arts schools and has donated £5 million in bursaries. Max joined UMGI in 1998 as Senior Vice President, Marketing and A&R. In 2004, he advanced to Executive Vice President and subsequently added responsibility for Digital, Strategic Marketing and Commercial Affairs, as well as Asia Pacific and Nordic/Central/Eastern Europe. He was appointed COO in 2010.
Max began his music industry career as an independent artist manager and record producer. In 1982, he joined Warner Music UK as A&R Manager, progressing to Managing Director of WEA Records and, in 1990, founding Managing Director of East West Records. During his 16 years at the company, he was involved with such successful artists as Simply Red, Tori Amos, Pretenders, Sisters of Mercy, Chris Rea and The Corrs, among many others.