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This EMBA Will Help Media CEOs Avoid Digital Disruption

The program will address the lack of tech-savvy leadership talent in the creative industries

An Executive MBA for the Creative Industries will be launched this year to help chiefs navigate the digital disruption sweeping through the media and entertainment industries. 

The media business in particular has faced mass disruption as audiences drift to new digital platforms operated by providers such as Netflix and Apple.

Industry leaders believe there’s a lack of leadership talent needed to steer companies through the digital revolution, which some areas of the creative industry have been slow to adapt to.

“It is essential that the creative industries are led by people who can skilfully and knowledgeably navigate companies through the challenges of the digital era,” said Lord Puttnam, an Oscar-winning film producer, whose credits include Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields, and who will lead the program.

In a sign of growing industry appetite for digital talent, the £32,500 degree, to be offered by the UK’s Ashridge Executive Education, part of Hult International Business School, has been endorsed by representatives of Spotify, the streaming company valued at $8.5 billion, and tech giant IBM.

Keith Jopling, global head of strategic intelligence at Spotify, said: “Creative and media organizations need stronger, more informed and equipped leaders in the digital age, and that’s why this program is critical.”

Paul Crick, music industry lead for Europe at IBM Global Business Services, added that the program will fulfil the sector’s needs “at a time of massive technological disruption and change in social habits”.

The program, set to run in October 2016, will be based on the part-time EMBA that Ashridge currently runs, with modules on strategy, economics, finance, marketing, and leadership.

But it will be focused on the creative industries — a broad definition encompassing advertising, design, publishing, museums, galleries, libraries, music and the performing and visual arts, plus film, TV and radio.

Helen Gammons, who will also lead the program, and who previously ran the MBA for music and creative industries at Henley Business School, said the EMBA will produce “strategic decision-makers with broad business skills and a real depth of experience…To lead the creative sector into an exciting future”.

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