Dirk De Clippeleir's recruitment means that the search for the ideal replacement by the AB's Board of Directors, which started in April 2010, has now come to a successful conclusion. De Clippeleir was selected from over 30 candidates. The future General Manager will be in charge of a professional cultural business with 47 permanent staff and turnover of about 9 million euro.
Dirk De Clippeleir started his career in the cultural sector as promotions manager of De Standaard. After that, he entered the music business. First as Marketing Manager and then as General Manager of EMI Music. In 1997, he switched to Universal Music Belgium as Managing Director, and between 2002 and 2005, he also held international responsibilities as the Director of New Technologies.
In 2008, he set up his own business as an executive coach and consultant, and since then, he has coached managers and CEOs. This means that he is familiar with other sectors such as banking, the federal government, the legal profession and the railways. He was previously chairman of the Boards of Directors of the lobbies of music producers IFPI and SIMIM and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Kringloopateljee, a social employment organisation in Mechelen. De Clippeleir also has close ties with Brussels, where he has been living for the last 14 years.
For many years, the AB has been a strong advocate of local (and Dutch-language) talent (about 50% of the bands that play the AB are Belgian) and the future General Manager already has a certain feeling for this crucial grass-roots talent: “As a record company exec., I always paid a lot of attention to local talent. I worked with big names (Clouseau, dEUS, …) and gave chances to young talent like Admiral Freebee, Absynthe Minded, Eva De Roovere and Jef Neve. I always endeavoured to give scope to Flemish artists like Willem Vermandere, Raymond van het Groenewoud or De Mens. That regularly gave me the pleasure of collaborating with Jari Demeulemeester", says De Clippeleir.
Jari Demeulemeester Manager until 1 March 2011
Dirk De Clippeleir will succeed Jari Demeulemeester as from 1 March 2011. Jari Demeulemeester has guided the AB through the turbulent and less turbulent seas of the past 22 (of a total of 31) years, as Artistic Director from 1988 and then as General Manager. Under his stewardship, the AB has grown into a medium-sized cultural SME in the heart of Brussels. Both local and international artists come to the AB to give their all, which is what has created the venue's international reputation. In 2009, the AB was approved as one of the eight Artistic Institutions of the Flemish Community. Demeulemeester will retire at the end of February 2011. Of course, until then, he will remain at the helm of 'his' temple to music.
The search for the ideal replacement
The search was organised from start to finish and carried out by a selection committee consisting of members of the Board of Directors of the AB (chaired by architect/Manager Karel Lowette) plus Jari Demeulemeester. The vacancy was published by the AB in mid-April 2010 in the press and via the websites and e-newsletters of the AB, Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen, Poppunt, VTi (Vlaams Theater Instituut), Cultuurnet and Sociaal Fonds Podiumkunsten.
The chairman is not just satisfied with the selected candidate, but also with the way the procedure went. Karel Lowette: “I think that the fact that no political influence was exerted in the selection procedure is highly exceptional in this kind of top position in the cultural sector. So we are delighted that the procedure could proceed in such an impartial way. When you are looking for someone with this kind of profile, you immediately have the perception that there is nothing that can be done about it, politicians are bound to intervene. With my hand on my heart, I can confirm that no political pressure was brought to bear at any time for the candidate that we selected. Out of more than 30 candidates, we short-listed five for a wide-ranging job interview, and seven candidates were put in a reserve pool. However, we rather quickly reached a consensus that Dirk De Clippeleir was just the man for the job."
The other four members of the AB board were also closely involved in the selection process. “Ultimately, they are the ones who will have to work with the new General Manager day in, day out, so we involved them intensively as a sounding board before we started, and when making the final decision", says Karel Lowette.
This evening, De Clippeleir's nomination was submitted to the Board of Directors and an Extraordinary General Meeting of the AB. The appointment of the new General Manager of the AB was approved by unanimous vote. On Monday 4 October, he will be introduced to the AB's staff at an assembly of personnel.
Until March 2011, Jari Demeulemeester and Karel Lowette are the only contacts as General Manager and Chairman respectively of the Ancienne Belgique.
EXTRA: WHO IS Dirk De Clippeleir?
Graduated in 1985 (KUL) Political and Social Sciences (specialisation in Communication Sciences)
In 1993 attended the Young Manager's Program, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
In 2007 and 2008, he underwent training to become an ICF Certified Coach, PCC level (The Coaching Square)
1986 –1988: Product Manager Maes brewery
1988 –1990: Promotions Manager De Standaard newspaper
1990 –1992: Marketing and A&R Manager EMI Music Belgium NV
1992 –1997: General Manager EMI Music Belgium NV
1997 – 2002: Chairman of the Board of Directors IFPI Belgium
2002 – 2007: Chairman of the Board of Directors SIMIM and IMAGIA
2002 – 2005: Director of New Technologies Universal Music International
1997 – 2007: Managing Director Universal Music Belgium
2008 to February 2011: founder and owner of C.L.I.P. Coaching/Consulting bvba
From March 2011 onward: General Manager AB