Meet Kobalt

We’re a passionate team, deeply committed to reinventing the music industry so that it works better for creators.

Our Company

Our People

Our Leadership

Ahdritz
Willard Ahdritz

Founder & CEO

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Willard Ahdritz

Willard founded KobaIt in 2000. He has more than 20 years of global publishing experience, and eight years of consulting experience in corporate strategy at L.E.K Consulting. He also co-founded Telegram Records & Publishing in his native Sweden.

Willard holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rudbecksskolan in Orebro, Sweden, as well as a Masters in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics, NYU Stern Graduate Division in New York. He Is a board member of the National Music Publishers Association and a Royal Society of the Arts Fellow. Willard lives in New York with his family.

Sanders
Richard Sanders

President

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Richard Sanders

Richard joined Kobalt in 2012, with over 35 years of experience in worldwide media, entertainment and digital services. He was previously the Chairman, International & President, Global Marketing at Sony Music Entertainment. Prior to joining Kobalt, Richard also held key positions at storied labels including Sony BMG, RCA, V2, and Arista.

Laurent Hubert Global
Laurent Hubert

President, Platform and Investments

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Laurent Hubert

Laurent joined Kobalt in 2016 in order to run its newly formed B2B rights management platform and investments division. Prior to joining Kobalt, he served as President, Marketing & Creative, at BMG, where he played a central role in reestablishing BMG as a global music powerhouse. Previously, he was the Worldwide COO for BMG Music Publishing. 

Metcalfe
Sas Metcalfe

President, Global Creative

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Sas Metcalfe

Sas joined Kobalt in January 2001 as its first employee. Her previous roles within Kobalt include Executive VP Creative and Creative Director. Prior to Kobalt, Sas spent three years as Head of A&R at EMI Records UK, and before that was Head of A&R at Warner Chappell Music Publishing UK. She started her career at CBS Records where she was a Marketing Assistant before moving to help set up independent record label Rockin’ Horse Records.

Brockholes
James Fitzherbert-Brockholes

COO

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James Fitzherbert-Brockholes

James – aka “Fitz”— joined Kobalt in 2001. He brought more than 15 years of experience in music publishing, and also worked as a consultant with L.E.K. Consulting, focusing on M&A and corporate strategy. He received an M.A. from Cambridge University

Thompson
Richard Thompson

CTO

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Richard Thompson

Richard has been with Kobalt since its inception. He is the architect behind Kobalt’s advanced global technology platform, which powers Kobalt’s Publishing, Neighbouring Rights and Label Services businesses. Thompson participates in various industry initiatives and forums, and is a DDEX board member. He previously worked for Oracle in their consulting, development and media divisions.

Tom Sansone
Tom Sansone

CFO

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Tom Sansone

Tom joined Kobalt in 2016, after serving as Gilt Groupe’s COO & CFO, where he oversaw a period of unprecedented growth. Prior to that, he spent over a decade at “Big Four” public accounting firms, advising Fortune 500 companies, private equity clients, and startups in Tech, Media, & Telecom industries. He holds a BA from Gettysburg College, an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and is a certified CPA.

Ryan Wright
Ryan Wright

CMO

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Ryan Wright

Ryan joined Kobalt in 2013. He brings over 20 years of experience in managing artists and brands globally, with deep expertise in marketing, PR, consumer insight, and brand partnerships. Ryan was previously Senior Vice President at Sony Music, leading the company’s global marketing group. Ryan has also held senior leadership positions at Sony BMG, BMG, Jive Records, and Samsung.

Simon Dennett
Simon Dennett

CCO

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Simon Dennett

Simon joined Kobalt in 2006. He has more than 10 years of music industry experience, including leading strategic projects and new initiatives. Prior to joining Kobalt, Simon worked as a consultant across a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. from Bristol University

Jeannette Perez
​Jeannette Perez

SVP, Head of Global Synch & Brand Partnerships

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​Jeannette Perez

Jeannette Perez joined Kobalt in 2014. With more than 14 years of experience, Jeannette has expertise in the art of creative music placement, business development, licensing, copyright, and valuation of music rights. Jeannette previously held roles in synch at Sony Music and RCA Records, as well as in Business & Legal Affairs at Sony BMG. Jeannette has a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.

Winchester
Christiaan Winchester

Group General Counsel

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Christiaan Winchester

Christiaan joined Kobalt in 2005 as the Head of Legal and Business Affairs, before transitioning to his current role. Prior to joining Kobalt, he worked in the Music Group at Harbottle & Lewis, a leading West End media firm, for five years. Christiaan holds an LLB from Durham University and a LLM from Kings College London. He trained at Clifford Chance in the City of London, qualifying as a solicitor in 1999. In his spare time, Christiaan moonlights as a DJ.

Marissa Mencher
Marissa Mencher

Global Head of People & Culture

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Marissa Mencher

Marissa joined Kobalt in 2012, bring 20 years of human resources management experience in the music industry. She previously led human resources at Sony Music in North America. Marissa also worked at BMG Label Group, RCA Music Group, and J Records.

Paul Hitchman
Paul Hitchman

President, Kobalt Music Recordings

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Paul Hitchman

Paul joined Kobalt in 2011, and brings more than 25 years of experience in the music industry. He was a co-founder of three prominent digital music companies: Playlouder, CI, and MSP. Prior to Kobalt, Paul also worked at BMG Music and Warner Music. He holds an Economics degree from Cambridge University. He is a Royal Society of the Arts Fellow, and has a history of curating many contemporary art projects. Paul got his start in the music business as a guitarist and record producer.

Ann Tausis
Ann Tausis

Managing Director, Kobalt Neighbouring Rights

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Ann Tausis

Ann joined Kobalt in 2013 to head up Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, drawing on her more than 20 years of experience in rights management administration. This included holding a position as the Director of European Regional Administration at Universal Music Publishing. Prior to that, she was UMP’s Global Copyright Director

Jim Arnay
Jim Arnay

SVP Business Affairs, US General Counsel

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Jim Arnay

Jim joined in Kobalt in 2012. Jim was previously Senior Vice President, Business Affairs at Ultra Music, a leading independent label and music publisher. Prior to that, Jim was a music partner at the law firm of Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein.

Johan Ahlstrom
Johan Ahlstrom

CEO, Kobalt Capital Ltd.

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Johan Ahlstrom

Johan joined Kobalt in 2010 to set up the first regulated investment fund dedicated to music royalty investments, Kobalt Capital Ltd. Prior to joining Kobalt, Johan was a founder and Director of CASE Advisors Ltd, a co-founder of Allianz Hedge Fund Partners, and a Director and Senior Marketing Officer at Citigroup. He holds a Master in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Lonny Olinick
Lonny Olinick

SVP, Strategy and Business Development

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Lonny Olinick

Lonny joined Kobalt in 2016, with over 10 years of media experience. Prior to joining Kobalt, he held positions at RCA, Sony BMG and Bain & Company, in addition to running his own artist management company. He holds an MBA from Stanford.    

Board Ekelund
Johan Ekelund

Managing Director, Nordics

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Johan Ekelund

Johan is the co-founder of independent record label Diesel Music and digital distributor Klicktrack. He has been with Kobalt since its inception in 2000 and is a board member. Prior to Kobalt, Johan spent more than 15 years in the studio as a producer and composer, achieving sales in excess of two million albums. Johan has held board seats in performing rights society STIM, the Swedish Society of Songwriters Composers and Authors SKAP, and the Swedish Independent Labels Association SOM. He is also a board member of IMPALA.

Matthias Kind
Matthias Kind

Managing Director, Germany

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Matthias Kind

Matthias has 20 years of global music publishing and artist management experience. He started his career 1995 at Polygram Music Publishing in New York and relocated to Germany in 1999 to launch the domestic publishing division of the PIAS Group. In 2004 he joined the Kobalt Music Group and established the groups German affiliate in 2008.

Nestor Casonu
Nestor Casonu

Managing Director, Latin America

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Nestor Casonu

Nestor joined Kobalt in 2014, with over 35 years of experience in the music industry. Prior to Kobalt, Nestor was at the helm of both the recorded music and publishing side of EMI Latin America as CEO rolling out for the first time ever a Global Rights Management Model in the world, combining both structures in the region.

Simon Moor Photo
Simon Moor

Managing Director, Australia & GM Asia

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Simon Moor

Simon opened the Sydney office as Managing Director in 2010, he was previously Head of A&R at both EMI Music and Sony/ATV. Simon guides and oversees the Publishing, Label Services and Neighbouring Rights divisions for AU/NZ markets. Most recently, Simon was appointed to the additional role of General Manager Kobalt Music Group Asia to establish Kobalt Music in this region, with the office based in Hong Kong.

Kenney Shiu Copy
Kenny Shiu

Director, Asia Pacific

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Kenny Shiu

Being a CPA in substance and a musician at heart, Kenney has been serving the music industry for 15 years. He is experienced in planning, developing, and managing Asia regional publishing business, creative service as well as catalogue acquisition.  Kenney started his career at Ernst & Young and served Rock Music Publishing Hong Kong, Warner Music Hong Kong, peermusic (S.E.Asia) and BMG Rights Management Greater China before joining Kobalt in December 2015.

Our Chairman

Board Bunting
Tim Bunting

Chairman of the Board

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Tim Bunting

Tim joined Balderton as a General Partner in 2007. He was previously a partner of Goldman Sachs where he spent 18 years. At Goldman, Tim held various roles including Global Head of Equity Capital Markets (2002 to 2005) and Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (2005 to 2006). Tim started to work with Balderton and its portfolio of companies in 2005. In 2006 Tim spent a period as non-executive chairman of Betfair. Tim is also a Governor of Wellington College and the Wellington Academy; a Trustee of the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Education: Tim is a graduate of the University of Cambridge.

Our Investors

We're fortunate to be backed by some of the best in the business. Here are some of our key investors...

Gv
Msd Capital
Cape Capital
Balderton