A major reshuffle in her awards department that began in May eliminates controversial “secret committees” that determine the final Grammy nominations and continues the departure of longtime award chief Bill Freymouth The steps taken to promote the vice-president are effective immediately.
According to the announcement, in her new role, Merchand Academy vice-president Valisha Butterfield will report to Jones to oversee both the awards and membership and industry relations. In its broader role, Marchand will work closely with the award team’s genre managers to promote to the music community across the country and beyond, “bringing new possibilities to the award process while ensuring their maximum integrity.” He will oversee the leadership team as well as the leaders of the Producers and Engineers Branch, Lyricist and Composer Wing and Grammy U.
In the newly created role of vice president of the awards, Chu will lead the team through all aspects of the awards season. He will report to Marchand and join him to strengthen core academy initiatives throughout the award process, with particular emphasis on diversity, equality and inclusion.
The move comes just three months after Harvey Mason Jr., who served as interim chief for about a month, was officially elected chief executive of the academy. They followed a huge uproar over the Academy’s controversial Grammy-nominated practices over the weekend, which had one of the most commercially and critically successful recordings of the year, surprisingly excluded from all nominations for awards for several lesser-known artists, and recording masons when the award process Was, since Grammy in March, he has come forward strongly in rebuilding that process. Eliminating secret committees – which obviously leaves the final nomination to the decision of the larger Grammy voters and takes pre-existing internal arrangements for the final nomination for most departments – simplifies the process in many ways.
“I am proud to welcome Ruby and Joanna to their new positions as we work to enhance our award processes from within,” Mason said. “Their expertise in this space is invaluable because we are refining the role of the recording academy in the music industry and working to provide the highest quality service to our members.”
Prior to joining the academy’s executive team, Marchand held several elected leadership positions at the academy. In 2004, he was elected Governor and Vice President of the New York Chapter. In 2011, he was elected National Trustee from the New York Chapter and served two terms, and then was elected Vice Chairman of the Academy by the National Board of Trustees in 2015 and served until 2019. The Awards and Nominations Committee has helped run the new eligibility rules for seven years and related to streaming. He has previously led Warner Music Group, including vice president of international A&R for 25 years and head of A&R at Cordless Recordings and Rykodisc.
Chu previously served as director and managing director of the academy’s awards department, where he was responsible for overseeing departmental staff and maintaining the integrity of the awards process. Prior to joining the academy, Chu worked in Silicon Valley as one of the few female software engineers in the aerospace industry for 15 years before a career shift in the music industry.