Phil Quartararo, the veteran record executive who played a major role in the success of the Spice Girls, Linkin Park and many others, has died, Variety has confirmed. Billboard reported that the cause of death was pancreatic cancer; he was 67.
A familiar and friendly presence at countless concerts across the decades, “Phil Q.” — pictured above in 2001 — was renowned for his warm personality and firm handshake. A native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Syracuse University, Quartararo’s career sprawled across five decades and virtually every major label group. He began his career in the radio promotion department of A&M Records in 1977, shortly after graduating from college. Over the following decade he worked his way up the ranks of the promotion departments at RCA, Island and Artist Records, before moving over to Virgin Records’ U.S. divison in 1986. He remained with that company until 1997, rising to the role of CEO/president.
Then then was named president of Warner Bros. Records, a post he retained until 2002. He then was named president of EMI Music’s distribution wing, and over the following years was a board member at Gibson and Fender guitars, a consultant for Shazam, and was named president of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation Records in 2016, a post he held for three years. He joined the Hello Group entertainment company in 2019, a post he retained until his death.