James McKnight has been appointed as the new CEO of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. McKnight will join the production company — which develops, licenses and manages the global brand strategy for Lloyd Webber’s shows and music — in December. McKnight succeeds Charles Farmer, who was appointed as CEO in 2022 when the position was created; Farmer resigned in early 2023 to pursue new opportunities.
McKnight most recently spent two years as executive creative director of Björn Ulvaeus’ company, Pophouse Entertainment; McKnight will remain a part of the company’s investment advisory committee.
Prior, McKnight was chief creative officer for the Harry Potter franchise at the Blair Partnership. During his seven-year tenure, McKnight oversaw global strategy and development of the franchise and facilitated strategic partnerships, including collaborations between the teams at “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and Warner Brothers Discovery.
“Andrew Lloyd Webber has always been synonymous with breaking new ground and driving change and innovation in live theater, music and the wider entertainment world with his incredible compositions and groundbreaking productions,” McKnight said in a statement. “I’ve built my career around strategically and meaningfully taking entertainment brands into new spaces and introducing them to new audiences, and I’m thrilled I’ll soon get the opportunity to continue that journey with Andrew, the Really Useful Group team and their exceptional partners worldwide.”
Lloyd Webber said in a statement, “James brings with him exceptional experience taking some of the world’s biggest entertainment titles and exploring them in new and interesting ways for diverse audiences. His experience matches our ambition to continue to break ground across different entertainment areas while maintaining a strong focus on growing our live theater business. We’re all delighted he will be joining us later in the year.”