News September 24, 2021

Wayne Ringrow departs Sony Music Australia

Wayne Ringrow departs Sony Music Australia

The VP of Australian artists marketing at Music Australia, Wayne Ringrow, has departed the company, according to multiple sources this afternoon.

TMN was told of the departure this afternoon and both Sony’s local operation and its HQ in New York have been contacted for comment.

The nature of Ringrow’s apparent departure is not yet clear.

He joined the organisation in 1992. In recent years, he has been responsible for directing the Australian artists marketing division and oversaw local content creation. In 2016, he also took over the major’s Parade artist management division. Last year, in addition to his Australian artist marketing and management responsibilities, he started overseeing New Zealand domestic artists martketing.

The major record label’s local operation has been under intense scrutiny of late, with its head office launching an investigation into a culture of harassment and bullying.

Within days, longstanding CEO Denis Handlin had left the company, and in a note to staff he acknowledged it was “time for change”.

Other executives also soon followed, with Handlin’s son Pat Handlin, who had been vice president of A&R, and Mark Stebnicki, who had been vice president of strategy, corporate affairs and human resources, also departing.

TMN understands the investigation is ongoing and is not accusing wither Handlin, nor Stebnicki or Ringrow, of any wrongdoing.

Former CEO Handlin has subsequently admitted that there were instances of sexual misconduct within the organisation, but said he acted to put a stop to them.

“I would never tolerate treating in an inappropriate or discriminatory manner,” he told the Everybody Knows podcast. “At any time I was made aware of this sort of behaviour, I took action to ensure that was stopped and didn’t occur again. Over the years, this included seeing people at all levels and all seniority leave the company. With issues of sexual misconduct, I always took immediate action in accordance with the law and best practice in the interests of those involved in such traumatic and disturbing events.”

When Tony Glover was sacked by the organisation earlier this year over accusations of wrongdoing, it was Ringrow who delivered the news to staff in a late afternoon teleconference.

Glover denies the allegations.

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

12 April:Tony Glover sacked by Sony Music Australia over allegations of inappropriate behaviour
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
26 August: Everybody Knows: A five-part investigation into Australia’s toxic music industry launches
31 August: Inside the investigation that will expose Australia’s music industry
1 September: Denis Handlin speaks: ‘I would never tolerate treating women in an inappropriate manner’

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