Record news: Marathon diva gets promoted at Decca

Record news: Marathon diva gets promoted at Decca


norman lebrecht

November 27, 2014

Rebecca Allen, whose charity marathon run we promoted on Slipped Disc, has been named managing director of Decca Records, promoted this morning from general manager. She moves into the seat vacated by Dickon Stainer.

Becky, when she’s not running, wears killer heels. More than one self-designated ‘opera singer’ has felt their kick at the negotiating table.

Go, Becks.

Rebecca Allen photographed by Carsten Windhorst /

Press release:

London, November 27th 2014: Universal Music UK chairman and ceo David Joseph has appointed Rebecca Allen as Managing Director of the UK’s most successful classical label, Decca Records.


Allen has stepped up to her new role after 15 years at Universal Music, in which time she has held posts as Decca’s Director of Media and, most recently, General Manager.


Allen now reports jointly to David Joseph and Dickon Stainer who is continuing as President of Decca Records Group in the UK alongside his recent promotion to President and CEO of Global Classics for Universal Music.


David Joseph says: “Becky’s extraordinary dynamism and creativity has played a big part in Decca’s success. As MD I know she will ensure Decca continues as the undisputed leader in its many musical fields.”


Dickon Stainer says: “Becky is an exceptionally skilled and versatile executive. Her outstanding drive and personality have taken Decca into new areas of repertoire globally, and this well-deserved promotion heralds a new and ground-breaking era for the label.”


Rebecca Allen says: “To be given the role of Managing Director for a label of such historical importance as Decca is a huge privilege for me. We have a young and brilliantly talented team at the label and with their energy and ambition for our artists I feel confident about leading the company forward.”


After studying at the Trinity College of Music in London, Allen started her career at the BBC where she worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and later the BBC Proms. She joined Universal Classics & Jazz in 1999 and remained with the label after it was re-named Decca Records UK in 2009, working closely with artists including The Lumineers, Rod Stewart, Jamie Cullum, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Andrea Bocelli, Gregory Porter and Alfie Boe. Allen was promoted to General Manager of the label in 2012.


Under its banner as “the home of diverse music”, Decca Records has been the number one classical record label in the UK for well over a decade, operating alongside its international ‎sister label Decca Classics which is run by Managing Director Paul Moseley.


  • Peter says:

    No surprise that the press release cannot name a single proper or decent classical artists she has worked with. She’ll have lots to discuss with Chailly et al…

    • Anonymous says:

      DECCA Classics is not the classical label, more the crossover label. Costa Pilavachi and Dominic Fyfe continue to head up the Classical side of things.

    • CeN'estPasPossible! says:

      A prime prerequisite for a successful career in the recording industry these days is to be unburdened by any particular knowledge of classical music. Being that the only “artist” I can recognize from her list is Bocelli (who was there long before she was), I assume that this person’s success at Decca has to do with her knowing “what sells” rather than with furthering the cause of classical music & recognizing great artists of the future. Costa Pilavachi is the real deal – and he is probably the only knowledgeable, qualified person to have lasted in that sadly declining industry for as long as he did. Otherwise, the party is over — and in fact it ended a LONG time ago.

  • Thomas says:

    These Universal Classics appointments are of no real interest to me, as the company does not stand for anything much of qualitative interest. A few things now and then may be interesting, but everything coming from their labels today, must be approached with suspicion and doubt. Their heads and their hearts are not in the music, nor in identifying great musical talent, but rather in packaging “quick fixes”, with “artists” with pretty faces and hot bodies and little other real talent. These appointments of senior managers are, in my opinion, of equal importance to a new head of a leading sausage factory. Fine, if you eat and like sausage, but we can rest assured that Ms. Allen will tow the party line and continue calling mediocrity the greatest discovery of the century, like calling a pig a swan and doing everything in their PR arsenal to convince the world of that. They are a lost bunch!

  • Michael Schaffer says:

    “Death comes to Decca.”

    (Norman Lebrecht, British music journalist, 2009)

  • Melisande says:

    An ongoing example of the saying “Nothing stays as it is”. This also goes for famous and respectable record industries like Decca. The other side of the coin is that nowadays real great artists and especially the young ones find other ways to perform for a really interested public and their reward in f.i. sharing music live is NOT money in the first place, but a confirmation of being heard and respected. The tables are turned around and in the end the music industries will gradually become a non-entity.

  • Christy says:

    It’s not clear from my outside vantage point what Decca actually does for their artists. They don’t promote or pay for top orchestras in any but a very few cases. Why aren’t artists better off to be independent? What is Decca’s purpose?

    • Roland says:

      You ask, what is Decca’s purpose? That is an excellent question. From observing both Decca and Deutsche Grammophon over the past five to seven years, I have come to the conclusion that their purpose is to serve a failing business model, run by out of touch and non-musical top management, by trying to make a profit no matter how thy can achieve that. This has led to losing focus, making priorities out of non-entities, forgetting about major talents within their roster, believing that the classical buying public is non-existent and thinking that they can and will create new die-hard fans of classical music by redefining what classical music is. None of it has worked and the serious loyal buyers of the past have, for the most part abandoned their labels and look elsewhere nowadays. It is truly a sad story. Universal Music Group has made a mockery out of their classical labels and each successive management has only made it worse. Credit must be given though to the current group of managers at Universal and although I don’t personally know them, by seeing what they release and how they promote it and what they promote, I have a very good idea that they haven’t got the slightest idea of what the serious consumer, who is ready to pay money for their music really wants. I’ve written them off since four years already and just watch from a distance what they put out. I haven’t purchased one single recording from them in four years. Prior to that I spent at least £60 to £80 per month on music. I know many others feel the same way. The people managing Universal’ classical labels should all be made redundant asap!