Phil Quartararo has been one of the most successful and respected executives in the music industry for more than 30 years. A genius at promotion and marketing, Phil Q, as he is universally known, started in radio promotion, but quickly rose to the level of president/CEO at both Virgin Records America and Warner Bros. Records.
Quartararo's first job in the music business came at the age of 19, when he joined the legendary A&M Records as a college rep. He later worked later for RCA Records in radio promotion and subsequently moved to Island Records, where, as Vice President of Promotion, he helped break several superstar acts, including U2.
In 1986, Richard Branson personally picked Quartararo to co-found Virgin Records America, one of the most successful start-ups in the history of the record business. The label's first single, Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, starting a string of top singles and albums for the company. Major successes included Paula Abdul, whose debut album, "Forever Your Girl," sold more than 14 million units for revenues in excess of $140 million and spawned six No. 1 singles, setting a record for the number of chart toppers from one album for a solo female artist. Among the other artists he oversaw at Virgin include Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins and Lenny Kravitz.
In 1996, Quartararo, now president/CEO of Virgin Music America, orchestrated the North American marketing plan for the Spice Girls, who went on to sell more than 30 million copies of their debut disc worldwide, including 9 million units in the U.S. for revenues of more than $90 million.
In 1997, as president of Warner Bros. Records, Quartararo guided the major label through one of its most successful periods by signing Linkin Park in 1998 and Josh Groban in 1999. The two acts, which remain among the label's top sellers more than a decade later, have combined sales of more than 30 million albums in the U.S. alone. Quartararo also ran Warner's sister label Reprise as well and is credited with creating two strong promotion departments.
In 2002, Quartararo moved to EMI Music. Recognizing seismic shifts in the marketplace, Quartararo oversaw the reorganization of EMI's music distribution unit to a marketing organization, reconfiguring the company from top to bottom. The retooled division switched from a passive push operation to an aggressive pull structure, realigning the team from 90% sales vs. 10% marketing to 90% marketing vs. 10% sales.
Quartararo also supervised EMI's synchronization and licensing division, which, in a flat music market, increased revenues 25% from $20 million to $25 million.
In 2005, Quartararo served as the North American leader of the three-person international EMI team that structured the joint venture between EMI and leading Spanish broadcaster Televisa to handle all of Televisa's music interests. Within one year, the joint venture broke RBD, the leading Latin selling youth act, with Latin and Anglo CD sales of more than 15 million ($150 in revenue), as well as a sold-out stadium tour.
Quartararo received a B.S. in Radio Broadcast and Marketing from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications as well as a B.S. in Management from Syracuse's Maxwell School of Business. He serves on Newhouse's advisory board.