Grammys President Neil Portnow to Step Down

Grammys President Neil Portnow to Step Down
After telling women in the music industry to "step up," Recording Academy president Neil Portnow is stepping down from his position.

Billboard reports that Portnow, who has served as the head of the organization behind the Grammy Awards since 2002, will finish his current contract come the end of July 2019. Portnow is the longest-serving president in Recording Academy history.

"The evolution of industries, institutions and organizations is ultimately the key to their relevance, longevity and success," Portnow said in a statement. "Having been a member of the Recording Academy for four decades, serving as an elected leader and our President/CEO, I have not only witnessed our evolution, but proudly contributed significantly to the Academy's growth and stature in the world.

"When I had the honour of being selected to lead this great organization in 2002, I vowed that on my watch, for the first time in our history, we would have a thoughtful, well-planned and collegial transition. With a little more than a year remaining on my current contract, I've decided that this is an appropriate time to deliver on that promise."

Portnow made his comments about the need for women in the industry to "step up" following a reveal that only 17 percent of awards handed out at the 2018 Grammys went to female artists. Portnow retracted his comments soon after, writing in a statement that what he had said had been taken out of context and did not reflect his beliefs.

The Recording Academy then launched an independent task force to combat biases against women in the music industry.