Utopia sharpens focus on execution and synergy realization with new management team and drive towards sustainable growth31 January 2023 - Press release
In a reorganization aimed at refocusing on its core, Utopia bids farewell to its current CEO and has made several promotions to drive sustainable growth and deliver 'Fair Pay for Every Play'. The new management team – all promoted from within the company – will leverage their combined scale-up expertise to make Utopia even leaner, faster and, ultimately, the definitive partner for royalty processing and payments in the music industry.
In December 2022, Utopia was reorganized into two divisions: Music Services and Royalty Platform. This new structure streamlined Utopia after 15 acquisitions, helping it to realize cost synergies and, ultimately, achieve profitable and sustainable growth. The Music Services division includes acquired companies Absolute, Proper, and Sentric, and continues to be successfully managed by its CEO Roberto Neri.
Building a better world for music
Utopia is now optimizing its business for the future. Several informal change makers have been promoted, and the company bids farewell to CEO Markku Mäkeläinen. These changes aim to further sharpen focus on driving towards sustainable growth, and building and bringing innovative products to market. Utopia's Executive Chairman and Founder,Mattias Hjelmstedt will take on additional operational responsibilities to support the organization and the leadership team.
Utopia's mission remains constant – delivering 'Fair Pay for Every Play', by becoming the definitive partner for royalty processing and payments in the music industry. It has appointed a leadership team with extensive experience building and scaling companies across the technology, music, and finance industries.
Mattias Hjelmstedt, Executive Chairman and Founder of Utopia Music, said: "The changes to our leadership team mark an exciting next step in Utopia's journey. This group of highly talented people bring unparalleled experience building and scaling companies – many of them have worked alongside me and Thomas for years, helping to realize Utopia's mission of Fair Pay for Every Play."
"With continued strong support from our shareholders, Utopia is now optimizing for the future. We have a solid team. We are faster, leaner and hyper-focused on delivering value to our customers and partners. We owe it to the music industry to get this right."
"I, together with Utopia's Board, want to express our thanks and appreciation to Markku for the commitment, passion, and dedication he's shown during his time at Utopia."
Utopia's newly promoted change makers
Utopia's new leaders will manage Utopia's Royalty Platform division, which has the company's data operations, copyright and royalty processing and financial services at its heart.
Utopia's Executive Chairman and Founder, Mattias Hjelmstedt will assume overall leadership of Utopia until a new CEO has been appointed. He'll be supported by Executive Board Member Wolfgang Streit on structural matters including investor relations, capital markets, compliance and M&A. Co-founder Thomas Gullberg will continue his role as a board member, while also overseeing Utopia's Brand and Marketing
Experienced tech executive Tuva Palm has been appointed as Executive Board Director, from her current role as VP of M&A, to support Mattias and the leadership team in product and tech matters while overseeing Utopia's Communications and Public Relations strategy. Tuva joined Utopia in 2020 and is well-known in the Swedish tech community, with over 20 years' experience successfully building, developing, and scaling up organizations and products as CPO, CTO, and Product Executive at companies such as Klarna, Nordnet Bank and Oracle. Furthermore, Palm has sat on the board of many successful growth companies such as EasyPark, Fortnox, Leo Vegas, and Lunar BANK.
Utopia's Chief Architect Max Flach will lead the Tech organization moving forward, including Engineering, Data and IT. He was one of the original architects of Utopia Platform. Flach has been building technical solutions for award winning businesses since the 1990s. He is known to solve complex problems fast, deliver speed and innovation on a global market. With his remarkable technical expertise and extensive knowledge of the music industry he is a perfect fit to drive Utopia's technical solutions towards supporting the music industry.
Tommy Fransson will lead Utopia's Commercial department, including Sales, Product, Royalty Processing and Financial Services. Fransson has an extensive career in finance and capital markets where he, as CEO and Deputy CEO, built and scaled up a regulated stock exchange and a digital asset manager, to name a few. His experience of bridging the gap between traditional capital markets and decentralized finance, Web 3.0, and the gaming sector perfectly positions him to scale Utopia's solutions.
Greger Hagelin will lead Business Development at Utopia. Hagelin is a pioneer in turning street, skateboard and snowboard communities into profitable businesses. He founded the international fashion brand WESC, expanding it into 35 countries and cementing it as one of the most legendary street brands of our time. His international network and remarkable ability to find business opportunities has already proven to be a great asset for Utopia. Hagelin was Utopia's 3rd employee and has always done utmost for the company. He will be enabled to excel even further in this new organizational setup.
Tonio Bahner is Utopia's new Head of Corporate Services, responsible for HR, Legal and Compliance. Tonio has practiced law for over 25 years, and supports young start-ups and cultural institutions with pro bono work. He has held roles at international law firms and several senior and executive in-house positions at large multinational corporations in the aerospace, defense, power and metal industries, both in Europe and in the US. Additionally, he served as General Counsel, Managing Director, and Board Member to various organizations.
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