Simon Dunmore Steps Down as CEO of Defected Records

Alexander Dias

3 min read

Simon Dunmore Steps Down as CEO of Defected Records

Simon Dunmore, owner, and CEO of Defected Records, announced today that he would step away from his position at the helm of the iconic label group and cultural institution. He will hand over the role of CEO and co-owner to his longtime partner Wez Saunders.

In a statement posted on Instagram today, he said, "My last post as owner of Defected & Glitterbox. It’s been a wild but rewarding journey...an incredible ride. 23 years of iconic memories. Way more highs than lows. Few get the privilege of working on incredible music with inspirational artists and dedicated staff…there are far too many to mention, but I thank each and every one of them. My intuition has guided me well, and I have decided that for the company to continue its progressive journey that it needs a new approach, fresh energy."

Dunmore founded Defected in 1999 with funding from Ministry of Sound. The label's first release, "I Can't Get Enough" by Soulsearcher, was a rousing success hitting number five on the UK Singles Chart. The label has been home to countless club stomping classics like Paul Johnson's "Get Get Down," Dennis Ferrer's "Hey Hey," and more recently, John Summit's breakthrough hit "Deep End."

"We first set sail on January 1st, 1999. Waving the flag for the culture we love, we marauded our way through the music industry," Dunmore continued in his statement. "Our mission was simple. Build a global reputation & a catalogue that someday might be considered alongside the great labels that always inspired me…..Strictly Rhythm, Philadelphia International, Salsoul, Prelude."

Over the last two decades, Defected has had 650 releases and built a label group that encompasses some of dance music's most celebrated imprints, including Glitterbox, Classic Music Company, DFTD, and sixteen others. They've become a staple in Ibiza, and their festivals in London and Croatia continue to wave the flag of inclusivity and universal love.

Dunmore says he will not entirely step away from the label he built from the ground up. "I am not abandoning ship and I’ll continue to be part of the Defected’s campaigns as consultant to the a&r team," he explained.

Wez Saunders, who will take over as CEO, has been with Defected for almost a decade. Dunmore said, "All captains need a first mate to steady the ship and lead the crew. Wez Saunders has been my right hand man for 8 years. Together we navigated Defected into prolific times, built an incredible team and a treasure chest of masters and publishing catalogue’s."

Among the treasured items in Defected's publishing catalog is a credit on Beyonce's recent RENAISSANCE album. The track "Cozy" was co-produced by Honey Dijon, Defected is listed as a publisher.

With dance music moving into a new era, Dunmore explained the importance of passing the torch.

"It is important to me that there is a continuum. A continuation keeping the company structure, maintaining Defected’s approach to quality music and events. To continue to deliver our promises and obligations to our community, our artists, staff, and all those that have helped us get here……Collectively we will discover new treasures. House Music All Life Long!"

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