Pharrell Williams, Music Industry Execs Join Rock Hall of Fame Foundation Board

Pharell Williams - Getty - H 2020
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The addition of three women and two African American men to the board follows new chairman John Sykes' promise to expand the foundation's leadership to better reflect the museum's inductees and annual list of nominees.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation added several heavy hitters from the music industry to its board of directors Wednesday. The New York-based foundation, which is separate from but supports the Cleveland museum, announced the addition of UMPG chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, UMG executive vp Michele Anthony, Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Jon Platt, ViacomCBS Consumer Products president Pam Kaufman and artist/songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams to the board.   

"We’re both fortunate and honored to welcome these creative leaders in music and entertainment to our board," said new chairman John Sykes in a statement. "Each brings to our board deep experience and extensive knowledge of music that will help us continue to grow the foundation as a true cultural institution."

The addition of three women and two African American men to the board looks to make good on a promise from Sykes to expand the foundation's leadership to better reflect the museum's inductees and annual list of nominees. Following the announcement last fall that he’d be taking over for Jann Wenner, he told Billboard he intended to boost the board's numbers. "With diverse board members will come diverse ideas," he said.

The board, whose membership includes super-manager Irving Azoff, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, among others, is responsible for supporting the museum’s efforts to "engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll," all the while "recognizing the indelible role rock and roll music plays in modern life and culture." Additionally, board members are part of a larger nominating committee that selects each year’s potential class of honorees.

This year’s inductees include Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T.Rex, who will be honored May 2. Receiving this year’s Ahmet Ertegun Award are board members Azoff and Jon Landau.

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.