Deborah Dugan, the Recording Academy president and CEO who took over for Neil Portnow last August, has been placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into misconduct allegations. The news comes just a week prior to this year’s Grammy Awards, which take place on Sunday, January 26. The Recording Academy confirmed the news in a statement (via Variety):
In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of
Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior
female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed
Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative
leave, effective immediately. The Board has also retained two
independent third-party investigators to conduct independent
investigations of the allegations.
The Board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore
the confidence of the Recording Academy’s Membership, repair Recording
Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on
its mission of serving all music creators. Board Chair Harvey Mason
Jr. will serve as interim President and CEO pending the conclusion of
The Recording Academy Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a
safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society.
Pitchfork has reached out to the Recording Academy for further comment.
Dugan was the CEO of the nonprofit AIDS organization (RED) before coming to Recording Academy. She stepped into a role vacated by Portnow, who resigned amid an outcry from multiple female artists including Vanessa Carlton and Fiona Apple. He stirred controversy with comments after the 2018 Grammy Awards when he said women should “step up” if they want to be successful in the industry.