WHO IS KEES VAN WEIJEN?
| NEDERLANDS  |
Kees van Weijen (Rotterdam, 1951) has plenty of experience in the entertainment industry. His main expertise lies in the music industry, in which he has worked since 1969. A man who has experienced all the trends, commercial and artistic highs and lows. 

Van Weijen began his four decennia in the music industry purely as a hobby. As a host and DJ from the age of fifteen, he introduced bands such as Golden Earring and Tee-Set in R&B clubs and later as DJ in Le Bateau, in Rotterdam’s Hilton Hotel.

He started working for Polydor in 1974. Van Weijen began as radio plugger, but was appointed head of the promotion department within a year. In the next five years he worked extensively with top acts such as the Bee Gees (he worked at the heart of the disco hype of ‘Saturday Night Fever’) and ABBA.

In the early eighties, Van Weijen was asked to become head of the promotion department for Phonogram International. In those years he worked with artists such as Elton John, Dire Straits, Status Quo and INXS. Van Weijen was involved in many sponsor deals and saw the introduction of the compact disc from up close. In addition he was actively involved in the marketing and promotion of this new configuration. He was responsible for the promotional side of the “Philips presents Dire Straits”-tour which was a unique concept at the time.

In the mid-eighties, Van Weijen left for London, where he worked for three years at the Polygram International headquarters as product manager, for artists including Van Morrison, INXS, but also Nana Mouskouri, Elton John and KISS. The extremely varied range of artists means that Van Weijen feels at ease with any genre.



In 1988, after seven years of international experience, Van Weijen longed for national repertoire.

At IMS (Import Music Service), back in  Hilversum, he set to work closing deals for smaller bands, for whom there was no place with major Polygram. When Van Weijen joined IMS, it was close to bankrupcy, but three years later it was a thriving company. Van Weijen’s biggest success was the album “Voor u Majesteit” by the Dutch singer Paul de Leeuw, which sold 60.000 copies. In addition he set up Polygram Video.

In 1991 Van Weijen was asked to become Polydor’s general manager.

Van Weijen’s fondest memories however, are of his very succesful period with MCA. On januari 1st 1994 he took on the challenge of turning the MCA label into an independent record company in the Benelux.

The office opened on april 1st, and on the 5th of april Kurt Cobain shot himself in the head. A chaotic start, which eventually became a great success, with projects such as Aerosmith’s ‘15 Big Ones’, ‘Hell Freezes Over’ by The Eagles, number 1-hits such as Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’, Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, No Doubt’s ‘Don’t Speak’ and of course the mega hit ‘Nirvana Unplugged’. Within three years, Van Weijen had set up a successful company from scratch, with only a small team, with an annual turnover of 35 million guilders and a market share of 5%.

In 1997 Seagram bought MCA and the name changed to Universal Music. After the takeover of Polygram by Universal, Van Weijen became managing director of Mercury Records. Five years later he was Executive Vice-President, mainly occupied with anything and everything to do with ‘New Media and Strategy’ as well as sponsoring. An important new development in the revolutionary digital age, with downloads and ringtones – initiatives which will bring in money for the music industry in the years to come.

In addition, Van Weijen also had several other responsibilities; amongst others he was member of the Mega Charts steering committee, board member of the CPG, board member of the NVPI and chairman of the Edison foundation. He supervised the organisation of 8 Edison Music Awards ceremonies, i.e. the ‘Dutch Grammy Awards’.

Since 2004, Van Weijen has started his own company, HIT4US. In this capacity, he can be approached about anything concerning sponsoring, New Media, consultancy, A&R, distribution, strategy and artist management.