MTI Appoints Drew Cohen as First Global CEO

MTI Appoints Drew Cohen as First Global CEO

By Marcus Woollen on February 21, 2018

NEW YORK, N.Y.  - February 21, 2018  NEW YORK, N.Y. 

Cameron Mackintosh and Freddie Gershon announced today that they have appointed Drew Cohen as the new Chief Executive Officer of Music Theatre International (MTI).  He will also continue as the Company’s President, as he has done for many years, having overseen its daily business and its recent expansion into Europe (MTI Europe, based in London) and Australia/New Zealand (MTI Australasia, based in Melbourne).  Over the past two years, those offices and MTI Asia have energized licensing activity in the European, Asian (including the Pacific Rim) and Australasian territories, bolstering theatrical licensing in the markets that MTI had pioneered over the prior two decades. Cohen will direct domestic and international strategy for the company, continuing to develop business opportunities and strategic alliances in the U.S. and internationally.

MTI Chairman Cameron Mackintosh commented: “I count Drew as one of my most treasured friends but he is also one of the most determined, imaginative, and pro-active executives with whom I have ever worked. In addition to his integrity and extraordinary instincts for identifying and nurturing exciting and original musicals, he has demonstrated tremendous appreciation for musical theater and insightful support for the artists who create these musicals.  Drew will now have even more latitude as CEO to steer MTI into the future.  During his past 15 years at MTI, and over the 25-plus years that I have known him, Drew has earned not only my trust as a partner, but that of the authors and rights holders whom MTI represents.  Together, we share a bullish outlook for the future of MTI's business and all of the opportunities that exist.”

MTI Co-Chairman, Freddie Gershon, CEO of MTI for the last 29 years, added: "I told Drew years ago that working at MTI would essentially be a graduate school program with a double major in the Entertainment Business and Dramatic Rights Licensing and I am ready to certify his doctoral degree.  As MTI looks to the future and continues its mission of perpetuating musical theatre and generating passive residual income streams for the benefit of the authors we represent, I cannot think of a better executive to lead this effort.  His imagination and enthusiasm are contagious and it is personally gratifying for me to make this announcement today.  I am particularly delighted that MTI will continue the legacy of its co-founder, Frank Loesser, in its commitment to remaining an owner-operated business supported by my long-time partner Cameron Mackintosh.  We are committed to the belief that this is the optimal way to insure the highest level of personal service to the needs of the authors we represent as well as their shows."

"It is a great pleasure to work at MTI with Freddie, the visionary who transformed this industry and expanded the reach of Musical Theatre to tens of thousands of elementary and middle schools around the world, and with Cameron, whose insights and expertise have been essential to our overall strategy at MTI." Cohen stated. "I look forward to continuing our day-to-day collaboration and working closely with my colleagues at MTI, who are truly the best in our field.   Our bias toward action continues to drive innovation and generate excitement as we work to maximize new opportunities in this digital world while always providing the high level personal attention that our authors have come to expect from MTI.  MTI's is dedicated not just to responding to changes in the business landscape, but to initiating those changes as the leader in our industry."  He added, "I am most appreciative of the confidence that Freddie and Cameron have shown in me. It is hard to adequately express the sense of privilege I feel in being able to represent the authors and musicals in MTI's catalogue and the encouragement we all feel in doing what we do to deliver these musicals to the broadest possible audience and afford authors the freedom to create new shows.  That MTI was co-founded by Frank Loesser, one of my lifelong heroes, has been the icing on the cake."

Cohen's early career included four years as an attorney in New York with the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, after which he joined GlassNote Records and served as its V.P./General Manager.  Subsequently, he earned a master's degree from Harvard Business School and was then Director of Investments for a private family fund. He is a graduate of Tufts University and Fordham Law School.

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting professional theatres as well as amateur groups and schools around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway, the West End and beyond.  MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, music materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.