Board Chair and longstanding music industry executive Meghan Symsyk has been named the incoming President and CEO of FACTOR, replacing Duncan McKie who takes retirement effective Dec. 31.
After a national search and several rounds of interviews conducted by an independent executive recruiting firm, Symsyk has accepted to join Factor immediately as President and CEO (Elect) and will lead the organization starting in 2021. Symsyk is the current Chair of the Board, President of the Music Managers Forum, as well as a Director at CARAS and MusiCounts.
She began her career in 1998 at Universal Music Canada. For the last decade, she has worked in the independent sector, most recently as Vice President, International Marketing and Artist Management at Entertainment One, before which she was with another full-service independent company SRO/Anthem working in Artist Management with Rush and serving as Director of Creative, Marketing & Media.
Symsyk’s previous roles have encompassed strategy, execution, creative, marketing, artist development and talent management. She has amassed a broad domestic and impressive international network of relationships across all segments of the music sector with artists and key stakeholders in radio, media, live, independent music, and government/funders.
“Meg impressed the recruiters, selection committee and the Board with her exceptional understanding of the challenges faced by the industry, combined with a clear vision for moving the organization forward in these difficult times and beyond,” says FACTOR Vice-Chair, Steve Parsons (Stingray). “She is an innovative and strategic thinker, very collaborative and a cultural fit (and) we are confident that with her extensive industry experience, her knowledge of the funding environment, and her thoughtful and caring approach, she is the best person for the job.”
“I am very honoured to be chosen to lead FACTOR at this pivotal time and thank the selection committee, Board and stakeholders for this opportunity. Having the privilege of serving as Chair of the Board for the past four years has given me a deeper understanding of the inner workings of this complex organization. FACTOR, along with its French counterpart Musicaction, is a unique funding organization and one that has set a global standard. There are many challenges ahead of us and it is my commitment to do my utmost to meet and overcome those challenges” commented Symsyk.
Symsyk will start with the organization on August 4 and will hold the position of President and CEO (Elect) until Mr. McKie’s retirement.
McKie was scheduled to take retirement at the end of 2019 but structural changes to programs the org administer kept him on and then covid hit and FACTOR was asked to administer the relief programs for Heritage Canada in the English market. His plans following his departure are to return to Quebec where he keeps a condo in Montreal and a small place in the Laurentides north of Quebec City.
He has been the President of FACTOR since December of 2010. Prior to this assignment, he enjoyed a broad and distinguished career in culture, media and market research, and regulatory affairs. McKie was the President of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA, formerly CIRPA) from 2007 to 2010.