Annabelle Herd is the new CEO of ARIA and PPCA.

The incoming executive joins the music industry with a CV stacked with experience across legal, lobbying and TV, most recently serving with Network 10 as Chief Operating Officer.

At ARIA, Herd becomes the labels body’s first female chief executive since its inception in 1983 (Victoria Rubensohn did, however, serve as Executive Director of ARIA/General Manager of PPCA).

When long-standing CEO Dan Rosen announced his departure last September for Warner Music Australia’s top job, the vacant ARIA position instantly been the Australian industry’s most closely-watched job. 

Starting next Monday (1st February), Herd takes the reins on leadership and strategic direction for both music industry organisations in a joint role, reporting to the boards of both ARIA and PPCA.

“I am delighted to be taking on this role serving and supporting our amazing Australian music industry at a time when the inspiration, connection and joy that our artists and musicians give us is more important than ever,” comments Herd in a statement.

“The last year has been challenging for our artists and members,” she adds, “so I look forward to representing and advancing the interests of those who make our industry so special given the pivotal time that we are in.”

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In a related move, industry stalwart Lynne Small is promoted to Chief Operating Officer of ARIA and PPCA, reporting to Herd. Small has been with the organisation since 1996, most recently in the role of General Manager.

Herd takes the leap following a 16-year stint at Network 10, where she was responsible for leading the commercial network’s broadcast operations; group strategy; corporate and internal communications; interstate markets; policy, regulatory, compliance and government affairs; and lobbying and stakeholder relations.

Previously, she gained experience in senior positions in Canberra, including a four-year run as Senior Advisor (Broadcasting and Copyright) and Acting Chief of Staff for then Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon. Richard Alston AO.

While in the nation’s capital, Herd worked as a government lawyer in the intellectual property branch of the Attorney-General’s Department and Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Alliance and Australian Libraries Copyright Committee.

Denis Handlin, Chairman of ARIA, welcomed Herd to the industry. “With her unique quality background, skills, and leadership, as well as her tremendous passion for Australian music,” he comments in a statement, “we know that she will help take ARIA forward into a new era and achieve so much for the artists and industry.”