Grammys president Neil Portnow, who told female artists “to step up,” is stepping down
Grammys president Neil Portnow, who took serious flack after saying that female artists needed to “to step up” after the male-dominated winners at this year’s awards, is stepping down. He announced today that he’ll vacate the position he’s held since 2002 after the 2019 awards. His statement, via Billboard:
The evolution of industries, institutions and organizations is ultimately the key to their relevance, longevity and success. Having been a member of the Recording Academy for four decades, serving as an elected leader and our President/CEO, I have not only witnessed our evolution, but proudly contributed significantly to the Academy’s growth and stature in the world. When I had the honor of being selected to lead this great organization in 2002, I vowed that on my watch, for the first time in our history, we would have a thoughtful, well-planned and collegial transition. With a little more than a year remaining on my current contract, I’ve decided that this is an appropriate time to deliver on that promise. Accordingly, I’ll be working with our Board to put the various elements in place that will ensure transparency, best practices, and the Academy’s ability to find the very best, brightest, and qualified leadership to take us into our seventh decade of operation. I truly look forward to continuing my role leading the Academy in the year ahead, and to continuing the pursuit of excellence and the fine missions we embrace and deliver.
Portnow is the longest-serving president in Recording Academy history. After criticism over his “step up” comments, he said the Academy was establishing a task force to investigate gender bias in Grammys process.