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News June 22, 2021

Sony Music Australia leadership change: Pat Handlin and Mark Stebnicki stood down

Senior Journalist, B2B
Sony Music Australia leadership change: Pat Handlin and Mark Stebnicki stood down

Sweeping changes continue at the Australian HQ of Sony Music, where Pat Handlin and Mark Stebnicki have been stood down from the company, various sources tell TIO.

Handin, Sony Music regional VP of A&R, has played a role in the successes of Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew, The Veronicas, Jai Waetford, Samantha Jade and Peking Duk, and introduced producer-writer duo DNA to the music giant.

Also gone is Stebnicki, a longtime lieutenant to Handlin and Sony Music Australia’s SVP, Strategy, Corporate Affairs & HR.

TIO has reached out to Stebnicki for comment. Meanwhile, a spokesperson at Sony Music’s headquarters in New York declined to comment. 

As reported by SMH‘s Nathanael Cooper, staff were told the pair had been stood down during a meeting today.

Justice Crew’s ‘Que Sera’, which logged nine consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart in 2014, to become the-then longest running homegrown leader in these parts, was sourced and A&R’d by Handlin (Tones And I’s ‘Dance Monkey’ now has the title, with 24 non consecutive weeks at No. 1).

Handlin is, of course, the son of Denis Handlin who, after 51 years with Sony Music, departed the company earlier in the week.

The veteran executive abruptly left the company he has helmed since 1984, and a brand he has worked for since May 1970.

“It is time for a change in leadership,” read an internal statement, penned by Sony Music Group Chairman Rob Stringer yesterday, seen by TIO. “And I will be making further announcements in terms of the new direction of our business in Australia and New Zealand in due course.”

No reason was given for Handlin’s departure. TIO is not suggesting the current investigation into allegations of harassment, sexism and bullying at the company has anything to do with Pat Handlin or Stebnicki being stood down.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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