Manuel Abud, a media industry veteran with domestic and international experience, has been named the Latin Recording Academy's COO, Billboard has learned.
Abud, formerly Azteca America's president and CEO, begins his new role along with Latin Recording Academy staff Luis Dousdebes, who has been named chief awards, membership and preservation officer, while Aida Scorza becomes senior vice president of awards.
"I'm thrilled about the future of The Latin Recording Academy," said Latin Recording Academy president/CEO, Gabriel Abaroa Jr. "As we build on two decades of excellence in Latin music, our organization is stronger than ever.”
Abud's extensive entertainment experience as a strong leader with operational skills, Abaroa said, made him a logical choice as the Latin Recording Academy continues to grow domestically and internationally. As COO, Abud will be working on several international and local growth initiatives in addition to overseeing the day-to-day operation of the Latin Recording Academy. His areas of focus include business development, production, communications, marketing, and digital. He will report to Abaroa.
Abud’s career trajectory makes him an expert in U.S. Hispanic television and Latin entertainment. He began working at Azteca America in 2014. In his 20-plus media industry years, the executive played a key role in the news and entertainment landscape.
At Azteca America, he carried out a full-scale network turnaround and lead the November 2017 acquisition by HC2 Holdings, Inc., according to his official Latin Recording Academy bio. Previously, he held leadership positions at NBC Universal, where he spent more than 14 years as president of the Telemundo Station Group, TV station president and general manager in Los Angeles and Dallas, and president of Telemundo Cable. Earlier, Abud was president of CBS Telenoticias and also worked at Mexican companies Televisa, Medcom, and ICA.
Abud’s education includes a bachelor’s degree from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico in addition to an MBA in management from Houston Baptist University, according to his LinkedIn profile.
After nearly two decades with the Latin Recording Academy and most recently as CFO, Dousdebes transitions to the role of chief awards, membership and preservation officer. Most recently he served as CFO. Before that he played key roles as a junior controller, then director of administration in Miami before being named CFO.
Starting in 2020, Dousdebes will be responsible for revamping the Latin Academy’s awards structure with an emphasis on digital. The executive will also lead new initiatives for the Membership department, which includes the revitalization of the membership base. Additionally, he is also tasked with developing and implementing preservation programs with international groups and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
Scorza's began her career in New York at Billboard Magazine before moving to Los Angeles to work in radio and labels such as Motown Records and Shelter Records. Then she moved to the Latin Recording Academy to launch the Awards department.
“We have a terrific team,” Abaroa said. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with Luis and Aida in their new and expanded roles, while welcoming Manuel to the family."