Dugan was hired following former CEO Neil Portnow’s controversial ‘step up’ comments, but has been placed on administrative leave after only a few months in the role
Deborah Dugan has been removed from her role as CEO of the Recording Academy, just days before the organisation holds its 62nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony. Dugan was placed on leave on Thursday (January 16) The LA Times reports, following a few controversial months for the Academy.
A statement from the Academy states that Dugan was placed on administrative leave: “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 Academy adds that independent investigators are looking into what happened, but has given no further details about the reasons behind the dismissal.
Dugan had only been in the role for a few months, taking over back in August after the former Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow stepped down, following controversial comments about women needing to “step up” to get recognition in the music industry. She was the first female president of the Academy.
Dugan also sent a memo to the Recording Academy’s head of human resources less than three weeks before her removal, which said she believed that “something was seriously amiss at the Academy”, according to The New York Times.
The memo covered concerns about voting irregularities, financial issues, and conflicts of interest involving figures high up in the organisation and outside lawyers.
Dugan’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, has promised to expand on the claims, saying: “When our ability to speak is not restrained by a 28-page contract and legal threats, we will expose what happens when you ‘step up’ at the Recording Academy, a public nonprofit.”