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News October 6, 2021

Ben Facey out of Universal Music

Senior Journalist, B2B
Ben Facey out of Universal Music

Australian expat Ben Facey is no longer with Universal Music Group in the United States.

Facey worked at Australian record labels across the past two decades, spending 10 years at Warner Music Australia (WMA) in roles including national publicity manager and director of promotions and publicity.

He then became head of marketing for Foxtel’s music channels in 2010 before joining Universal Music Australia (UMA).

At UMA, he was the head of international marketing and media in a Sydney-based role.

Earlier this year, however, he was moved to a Los Angeles role with Universal’s Republic Records where he has been executive vice president of global marketing and digital strategy.

Universal Music has been conducting an investigation into allegations of bullying, harassment, racism, homophobia, discrimination and sexual assault within its ranks locally, however there is no suggestion at this stage that the two events are linked, and Facey has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Facey, while not accused of any wrongdoing, is the latest in a string of high-profile departures across the music landscape, with Sony Music Australia recently saying goodbye to Wayne Ringrow (VP of Australian artists marketing), Tony Glover (vice president of commercial music), Pat Handlin (vice president of A&R), Mark Stebnicki (vice president of strategy, corporate affairs and human resources), and Denis Handlin (long-standing CEO).

UMA’s president, George Ash, meanwhile, has admitted responsibility for any cultural and systemic issues at UMA, including conceding that he made an inappropriate joke over a Zoom call.

“My initial response was ‘I don’t know whether the allegations are true or not’ but it made me think we haven’t done enough and we need to do more in our company,” Ash said in an interview with The SMH and The Age. “I need to step up and take responsibility.”

He added: “In some ways I feel like I have let people down,” he said. “It’s not the company or the culture I want to work in . . . if people are feeling like that then I need to address things.”

Universal Music declined to comment on the departure and the ongoing investigation.

Facey’s email returns a message “Ben Facey is no longer with the company” and invites people to contact Jim Roppo (EVP / general manager at Republic Records) instead.

Know something we don’t? Email any tips to [email protected] or contact the writers directly.

How did we get here? A timeline of Universal Music Australia’s Culture Reset:

August 9, 2021: Universal Music Australia Launches Workplace Culture Investigation
October 6, 2021: Ben Facey Out of Universal Music
June 9, 2022: UMA Launches Culture Task Force: Read The Internal Memo (EXCLUSIVE)
June 20, 2022: Universal Music Australia Faces Fresh Workplace Misconduct Investigation (EXCLUSIVE)
June 22, 2022: Universal Music’s Global HR Boss, Eric Hutcherson, Arrives in Australia Amid Culture Crisis (EXCLUSIVE)
July 6, 2022: Darren Aboud Exits Universal Music Australia (EXCLUSIVE)
July 7, 2022: Universal Music Reveals Leadership Changes, John O’Donnell Retires

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