More than a year after all hell broke loose within the Recording Academy, ousted CEO Deborah Dugan has walked away with a confidential, and presumably hefty, settlement. The New York Times reports that Dugan and the Recording Academy, which is the organization behind the annual beautiful mess known as the Grammy Awards, reached the settlement weeks before arbitration hearings were set to begin in public. In a joint statement, both sides confirmed that they “have agreed to resolve their differences and to keep the terms of their agreement private.” In January 2020, just five months into her tenure as CEO, Dugan was placed on administrative leave following several allegations of misconduct. Some outlets, however, described the situation as a coup, with Grammy employees reportedly not taking kindly to her internal changes to modernize and cut costs at the organization, as well as her desire to investigate voting irregularities and a pervasive “boys’ club” culture.
Dugan was officially fired from her role in March 2020, where she was replaced by interim (and now permanent) CEO Harvey Mason Jr. The only time Dugan publicly discussed her experience with the Recording Academy was during a January 2020 Good Morning America interview, where she, appearing with her lawyer, provided insight into the allegations. “I believe in what the Recording Academy should stand for, for artists,” Dugan said at the time, “and I was trying at each step to take a deep breath and say ‘Okay, I can make a difference. I can fix this. I can work with this team.’”