UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is to step down from his role after three years to become Rishi Sunak’s new director of strategy.
Njoku-Goodwin has been at the helm of the trade body, which represents the UK music industry, since September 2020 and helped steer the sector through the Covid-19 pandemic.
He has previously held a number of roles within government, as an adviser to former health minister Matt Hancock and at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Njoku-Goodwin said: “The UK music industry is one of this country’s great national assets and it’s been a privilege to represent it for the past three years.
“Leading UK Music through what was the toughest of times for us during the pandemic, when the music industry faced an existential struggle, has been an immense honour.
“I’m delighted our sector is in much better shape now to take on the challenges and opportunities it faces in the future.”
Throughout his tenure, Njoku-Goodwin helped secure financial support for the sector during the pandemic and aided the safe return of live music after the end of lockdown.
He also played a key role in drawing up the new national plan for music education and boosted UK Music’s work on diversity and inclusion.
More recently, he has co-ordinated the sector’s response to the challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI), stressing the need for effective copyright protection.
Before taking up his role at UK Music, Njoku-Goodwin was a government special adviser for the DCMS and at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Earlier this year, some of his messages to Hancock during the pandemic were published by the Telegraph, including texts where he lashed out at former No 10 aide Dominic Cummings.
UK Music chairman Lord Tom Watson said: “Jamie has been a stellar success and I can fully understand why the prime minister would want him in a very senior Downing Street role.
“I’m sure he will deploy his considerable skills for the country in the same way he has for the music industry.”
Deputy chief executive, Tom Kiehl, will act as interim chief executive following his departure.
The appointment comes as the prime minister makes a mini-reshuffle of his cabinet, with Grant Shapps made defence secretary following Ben Wallace’s formal resignation, and Claire Coutinho appointed energy security and net zero secretary.
Press Association – By Naomi Clarke