Jon “Webbo” Webster has worked for 2 people most of his life – himself and Richard Branson. The former paid better.
Most of his career was spent at Virgin – both Retail where he began as a shop assistant in 1975; and at Virgin Records where he started in 1981 as Sales Manager before progressing through various posts before being appointed Managing Director in 1988. He was a member of the BPI Council from 1985 – 1992.
In 1983 he was instrumental in devising the Now! That’s What I Call Music brand.
Following the EMI purchase of Virgin in 1992 he decided to leave corporate life, set up his own company, and worked with Virgin acts (Genesis, Peter Gabriel, UB40, Mike and the Mechanics) and and Baby Bird, Die Toten Hosen and Erasure.
In 1992 he founded the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. From 1992 – 2002 he wrote the “Webbo” column for Music Week.From 2000 he moved into management with D*Note and Francis Dunnery (former singer with It Bites) setting up the internet sales label Aquarian Nation (www.aquariannation.com).
In May 2005, after 13 years working for himself, he was appointed Director, Independent Member Services at the BPI, the UK record industry trade body.
Since 2007 he has been the Chief Executive of the Music Manager’s Forum, steering the membership body through a series of critical changes that are impacting the whole music industry.