News August 11, 2021

Still no word on future leadership of Sony Music Australia

Still no word on future leadership of Sony Music Australia

It’s been over 50 days since long-serving Australis CEO was dramatically sacked from the company, however leadership plans for the major label’s local leadership remain unclear.

Multiple questions from TMN to Sony HQ in New York have been unsuccessful in garnering a response about the recruitment process or the company’s plans in the interim.

Handlin left Sony Music on June 21, and the company is conducting an ongoing investigation into the workplace culture at the local operation.

It was then revealed today that high-profile executives Pat Handlin (Denis’ son and vice president of A&R) and Mark Stebnicki (vice president of strategy, corporate affairs and human resources) are also no longer with the company.

There has been no suggestion Handlin or Stebnicki are accused of any wrongdoing.

Back in June, TMN wrote about the difficulties Sony Music may face in filling the CEO role.

“Handlin has been with Sony Music, and indeed in its top job, for longer than many of its young employees have been alive, so replacing him was always going to be a lofty task, TMN wrote.

“Add to that Handlin’s dramatic exit and the potential to inherit a toxic workplace riddled with allegations of harassment, bullying, discrimination, alcohol dependence, and a culture of fear, anxiety and burnout – and suddenly it might not be the dream job Handlin painted it to be.”

Former Warner Music Australia leader Beth Appleton’s name had been bandied around as a potential successor to Handlin, however she recently took a role at Jaxsta as chief marketing officer.

You can read more about the speculation – as well as the looming and lingering issues Sony Music Australia must confront – here.

How did we get here? A timeline of ’s upheaval 

15 June: Sony Music Australia under investigation by head office for harassment & bullying
21 June: Sony Music Australia and New Zealand CEO Denis Handlin to depart
22 June: 5 questions that need answering after Denis Handlin’s exit
23 June: 
Sony Music’s Pat Handlin & Mark Stebnicki stood down as work culture investigation continues
24 June: ‘It is time for change’: Denis Handlin sends note to Sony Music Australia staff
24 June: Lawyers who previously represented Titus Day in battle against Guy Sebastian could bring class action against Sony Music Australia
28 June: Inside the Australian music industry’s toxic underbelly
12 July: Law firm considering class action against Sony Music Australia inundated with responses
11 August: Sony Music confirms Pat Handlin & Mark Stebnicki ‘no longer with the company’

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