2022 Impact 50: Robert Gibbs

ICM Partners
Partner & Head of Music

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Named ICM Partners’ head of music during the pandemic, Robert Gibbs was a first – and he doesn’t want to be the last.

“As the first African American head of music at any major agency, it’s important that the envelope continues to be pushed in having more diverse leaders, more women in leadership roles in our industry and most importantly educating,” says Gibbs. “I personally share almost all of my clients with female agents in building on that commitment. From an agency perspective, we have put an emphasis on making sure our internship program reflects the world with more people of color from all backgrounds, women and the LGBTQ+ community.”

Breaking the barriers as the first in any business often means being one of the best.

Long admired by peers and colleagues for not only representing artists like J. Cole and Ari Lennox at a high level but also for leadership, Gibbs’ role gives him the opportunity to build a culture and continue to cultivate the kind of service and leadership needed at the highest levels of the agency business.

“As Pollstar recently highlighted, (I’m) very proud of our Electronic Music Department in watching Simon Clarkson and Paul Gongaware do a tremendous job growing and building our domestic EDM business so quickly during one of the most challenging times our industry has ever faced,” adds Gibbs.

With the floodgates opened following the prolonged COVID shutdown, Gibbs says it’s important to be selective in determining who and when to tour.

“Fans are faced with too many options and have to make economic decisions. It will take time for the industry to adjust to pacing itself, so that everyone is not trying to get out at one time, which is what we are seeing now. Couple that with the economic conditions globally, which clearly plays a major role.”