May 12, 2021 -- 9:00 am PDT

 Manuel Abud is named Chief Executive Officer
Gabriel Abaroa, Jr. will be moving to a newly-created role of President Emeritus


MIAMI (MAY 12, 2021) - After a reorganization in 2019 that strengthened its leadership team and a successful 2020 in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees of The Latin Recording Academy® has appointed Manuel Abud as CEO of the organization effective August 1, further solidifying its future through the execution of its 10-year strategic plan. Outgoing President/CEO Gabriel Abaroa, Jr. will become President Emeritus, a senior advisory role that will include working on assigned strategic projects while assisting the new CEO in the transition.


"As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, which actively oversees the growth and social impact of this great organization, I am delighted to have led a succession plan that was designed with professionalism, respect, love and consistency," said Eduardo Hütt. "Several candidates were considered to replace Gabriel's unique leadership style, and we agreed that Manuel Abud meets the established criteria, excelling in ways that guarantee our organization the leadership required to accomplish its goals over the next decade. The plan was carefully executed, and Manuel was groomed over an extended period."


"Leading The Latin Recording Academy has been a very significant part of my professional career and a great foundation for my future endeavors," said Abaroa. "We achieved tremendous progress and growth over the past two decades. I'm eager to transition to a new role that won't be as time consuming and certain that Manuel will take us boldly into our next chapter."


"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead The Latin Recording Academy," said Abud. "Before coming here in 2019, I had long admired the organization's excellence, and I look forward to building on its rich heritage of supporting and honoring Latin music and ushering in a new era of growth and impact."


"This is a wonderfully executed succession plan," said Harvey Mason jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy®. "Having Manuel in the role of COO for two years, where he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the organization was invaluable in equipping him to lead it now. Manuel is a seasoned executive with an excellent background in content development, distribution and international markets. As he takes the reins, he will benefit from Gabriel's tenure, continued presence and unrivaled passion for this organization."


While COO of the Latin Academy, Abud successfully led a major reorganization, maximizing efficiencies and taking a fast leap to digital content development. In addition, he developed strong and clear positioning for the organization, leveraging its heritage and plans.


With an impressive 25-plus year career in the entertainment industry, during which he has held a wide range of high-level executive positions, he has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Latin arts and entertainment landscape. Before coming to The Latin Recording Academy, Abud was CEO of Azteca América where he implemented a full-scale turnaround of the network and spearheaded its November 2017 acquisition by HC2 Holdings, Inc. Before Azteca, he spent 14 years at NBCUniversal where he held a wide range of leadership positions, including president of the Telemundo Station Group and president of Telemundo Cable where he founded mun2. Previously he was president of CBS Telenoticias.  


Abaroa's leadership and tenure led the outstanding growth of The Latin Academy and its exceptional financial stability. Some of his key accomplishments include implementing a strong Board of Trustees while fostering a healthy relationship with the Recording Academy and assembling a team of talented and passionate executives and staffers. In addition, he was responsible for the transition of the Latin GRAMMY® telecast from English to Spanish. Most recently in 2018, the organization, under Abaroa's leadership, signed an unprecedented agreement extending the partnership established in 2005 with Univision through 2028.  Abaroa also led the establishment by the organization of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® in 2014. The Foundation furthers international awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin music and its makers to the world's culture through college scholarships, grants and educational programs.


Abud will lead a seasoned executive team that includes Luis Dousdebes, Chief Awards, Membership and Preservation Officer and a 20-year veteran at The Latin Academy; Javier Aguirre, Chief Financial Officer; Davina Aryeh, Chief Business Development Officer; Laura Dergal, Vice President of Marketing and Content Development; Iveliesse Malavé, Vice President of Communications; and Aida Scorza, Senior Vice President of Awards, who has served both the Recording Academy and The Latin Recording Academy for more than 30 years.


Tanya Ramos-Puig, who was appointed President of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation in April, will continue reporting to both the Board of the Foundation and the CEO of The Latin Academy.





The Latin Recording Academy is an international non-profit dedicated to nurturing, celebrating, honoring and elevating Latin music and its creators. Established as the global authority on Latin music, the membership-based organization composed of music professionals, produces the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards®, The Biggest Night in Latin Music®, which honors excellence in the recording arts and sciences, in addition to providing educational and outreach programs for the music community through its Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation®. For more information, please visit



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