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EXPOSED: Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Received Nearly $6 Million From Academy After Getting Fired Only 5 Months Into Job

former grammys ceo deborah dugan awarded nearly  million settlement
Source: MEGA

Feb. 4 2024, Published 11:15 a.m. ET

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Fired Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan reportedly received a settlement of nearly $6 million in 2021 after her controversial departure from the organization, which runs the Grammy Awards, RadarOnline.com has learned.

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former grammys ceo deborah dugan awarded nearly  million settlement
Source: MEGA

The details of the settlement haven't been made until now.

A 2021 tax filing obtained exclusively by Q revealed that Dugan received a staggering $5.75 million settlement.

The details of the settlement were not made public at the time. Still, according to the report, Dugan was the highest-paid individual at the Recording Academy — despite not working any hours per week.

The settlement came after months of disputes between Dugan and the Academy, which ultimately led to her dismissal by the board. An agreement was reportedly reached in June of 2021.

Prior to her departure, Dugan, who was listed under her married name, Deborah Szulansky, had only held the position of CEO for approximately five months. Harvey Mason, the CEO who succeeded her, earned only $1,369,344 during the same period.

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former grammys ceo deborah dugan awarded nearly  million settlement
Source: MEGA

Deborah Dugan held the position of president and chief executive for approximately five months before being removed.

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Dugan's dismissal came after allegations of bullying and just ten days before the 2020 Grammy Awards.

In her complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she claimed that her removal was in retaliation for exposing misconduct within the organization, including sexual harassment, corrupt voting procedures and conflicts of interest among board members.

She also accused powerful industry lawyer Joel Katz of harassment, which he vehemently denied.

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former grammys ceo deborah dugan awarded nearly  million settlement
Source: MEGA

Deborah Dugan dismissal came before the 2020 Grammy Awards.

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The Recording Academy initially denied paying Dugan a settlement when she was fired in 2020.

In a letter to its members, the Recording Academy explained that Dugan's dismissal was due to consistent management deficiencies and failures. The organization stated that not removing her from the organization would compromise its values and set a precedent that such behavior has no consequence.

Dugan responded to her dismissal by criticizing the Academy's handling of whistleblowers and its lack of investigation into conflicts of interest and voting irregularities.

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Source: Radar

The tax documents also revealed that the Recording Academy spent over $25 million on salaries and over $55 million on expenses. Total expenses for the period were close to $89 million, and the Academy made a profit of just under $1 million.

The organization earned nearly $56 million from the Grammys telecast and $13 million from sponsorships.

Dugan's tenure at the Recording Academy was seen as an opportunity to bring fresh leadership to an organization that had faced criticism for its lack of diversity.

Her hiring came after former Recording Academy president Neil Portnow made controversial comments suggesting that female artists needed to "step up."

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