Make no mistake, Brett Cottle will be a hard act to follow. The APRA AMCOS CEO has announced his departure from the organisation with effect from June 2018, drawing an end to his 27-year reign at the rights society.

Cottle, once honoured by the Queen for “services to the performing arts,” has served with the organisation since the late 1970s, initially as its first in-house counsel and, from 1990, as CEO of APRA (he brought both organisations together in 1997). During his time at the helm, royalty collections and distributions increased seven-fold and its 2017 financial results are expected to again reflect record sums.

Now the hunt is on to find the next captain of the APRA AMCOS ship and international recruiting firm Odgers Berndtson is charged with finding Cottle’s successor. The waters ahead for the industry won’t be calm.

Ian James, chair of AMCOS, APRA board member and Mushroom Music Publishing managing director, caught up with The Industry Observer to talk change, the future and some of the issues awaiting Cottle’s successor.

It’s an end of an era with Brett Cottle announcing his departure next year. What benefits will a leadership change bring? And who are the global stakeholders who will be watching on?