Kris AhrendPresident, U.S. Shared Services
Warner Music Group
Kris Ahrend serves as the President of U.S. Shared Services. The Shared Services division consists of five departments (Finance, Legal, Reporting, Analysis, and Licensing) that encompass more than a dozen different functional areas, including Accounting Operations and Cash Management; Artist Royalties and Publishing Royalties; Joint Venture Reporting; Catalog Rights Research, Enforcement and Inquiries; Royalty and Participations Audits; and Union Relations and Reporting. The division provides services to all of WMG’s U.S. record labels and divisions. Prior to his appointment as President of U.S. Shared Services in October of 2016, Kris served for three years as the head of a similar internal shared services division called “U.S. Recorded Music Rights Administration” (or “RMRA”). Kris was based in Burbank, California during that time, overseeing a team of employees located in WMG’s Burbank and New York offices. Before becoming the head of RMRA, Kris served as Senior Vice President and Head of Business & Legal Affairs for Rhino Entertainment Company in Burbank, where he oversaw all of the company’s transactional, litigation, and other legal matters. He also served as the General Manager of Frank Sinatra Enterprises, LLC, a joint venture between Warner Music Group and the Sinatra family, which controls Frank Sinatra’s name and likeness rights and his Reprise Records catalogue. Kris joined Rhino in January of 2006. Before joining Rhino, Kris lived in New York City where he worked in the Business & Legal Affairs Department at Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the Law department at Sony Music Entertainment, and the Intellectual Property Group of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP. He began his legal career serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Glen E. Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia and for the Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Remember the days when it was a cost driver to staff as low as possible? Nowadays talent, and plenty of it, is your true competitive differentiator. According to SSON’s 2017 Global Report, SSCs are prioritizing talent and updated skills (customer service, automation, data analytics) to support their future business plans. The Modern SSC requires a different competency, a reassessment of current roles and responsibilities, a desire to embrace a world where man and machine must coexist, and revamped career paths and performance management structures. During this panel, attendees will:
· Highlight the shifting skill sets (i.e., analytical, data acquisition and monetization, and more) and competencies needed to thrive in a modern day SSO
· Accelerate talent by redesigning career paths, training and performance management
· Hear how man and machine can most effectively coexist
· Prepare for resistance to change