Read the complete write-up of Denis Handlin net worth, salary, biography, age, height, family, wife, daughters, Song Music controversies as well as other information you need to know.
Denis Handlin is an Australian entrepreneur and business executive who formerly served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and President of Sony Music Entertainment Asia Inc, commencing employment in the company in 1970 until 5 June 2021, making him the longest-serving global Sony Music employee.
Additionally, Handlin has served on the committees of several industry associations and has held various positions including Chairman of the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, Vice Chairman of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and Chairman of the ARIA Industry Chart Committee and has been a member of the ARIA Board from 1984 until 5 June 2021.
In October 2021, the Australian current affairs television program Four Corners interviewed over 100 Sony Music employees who alleged abuse, intimidation and bullying perpetrated by Denis Hamblin.
|Entrepreneur, Business Executive
Denis Handlin AO was born July 21, 1951 (age 70 years) in Brisbane, Australia. He was educated at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace.
Denis Handlin started in the Distribution Division within the Australian Record Company (later known as CBS Records International, Sony BMG now Sony Music Australia) in May 1970. In 1976, Handlin moved to Sydney and held numerous senior positions including National Promotions Manager, Director of Marketing and General Manager, Marketing and Sales. In 1984, Denis Handlin was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian company.
In February 1996, Handlin was made Chairman of Sony Music Entertainment Australia Limited and appointed to the international committee responsible for the company’s global strategy. In May 1996, Denis Handlin became the first Australian and the first Sony Music Entertainment executive to be honoured with the CEO Special Recognition Award presented by Sony Chairman and CEO Norio Ohga.
Dennis Handlin was appointed to chair the Sony Music International Strategy committee in 2002. In 2005 at the Australia Day Honours List, Handlin was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of “service to the music industry, particularly through the promotion of Australian musicians, to professional organisations, and to the community through fundraising for charitable organisations”.
In September 2010, in addition to his Australia and New Zealand responsibilities, Handlin was appointed President, South East Asia & Korea and was further expanded as President, Asia in August 2011. In November 2012, Handlin was elected to the position of Vice Chairman of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Asia Regional Board and in November 2014, Handlin was elected as Chairman of the IFPI Asia Pacific Board.
In October 2014, a Sony Foundation event was held to recognise Denis’ 30 years leading Sony Music Australia. The event raised funds to create a special endowment fund to provide annual grants to support children with disabilities. In June 2017 at the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Denis Handlin was elevated to and awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), in recognition of “for distinguished service to the Australian recording industry, through leadership and mentoring roles, as a supporter of young artists, and to charitable organisations as a director, patron and contributor”. In February 2018, Handlin was announced as “the Number 1 most influential figure in the Australian music industry” by the music industry publication, The Music.
On 21 June 2021, it was announced that Denis Handlin was leaving the company. His departure was effective immediately and was announced by Sony Music’s global boss Rob Stringer in an internal email. As he no longer worked at Sony Music, he can no longer be on the ARIA board and exited immediately.
The ABC’s head of music and events, Natalie Waller, was appointed chair of the Australian Recording Industry Association (Aria), taking over from Denis Handlin, who lost his right to sit on the board when he was removed as CEO of Sony Music Australia in May.
It’s alleged that the global Sony Music company, which is based in Madison Square in New York City, was aware of the decades of the alleged “systemic bullying, discrimination and misconduct” under Handlin’s rule, well before he exited the company in June this year.
Sony Music’s former finance director Alan Terrey told Four Corners that the New York headquarters’ claims it only found out about Handlin’s behaviour recently is “such a load of hogwash”, considering the allegations levelled at Handlin extend over his 37-year career as the label’s top man.
Greg Lockhart, who was the head of HR in the ’90s, said that he reported Handlin’s behaviour to the global head office multiple times, but claimed his concerns were ignored by the New York team.
In 1998, the global team finally took notice of Handlin’s alleged behaviour after a US executive visited and reported what was going on. After that visit, Terrey said he was called by someone above him at the New York office, who asked what working for Handlin was like. “I said, ‘I’ll give it to you in two words: utterly miserable,” he told the ABC.
Following that call, Sony Music’s International President at the time asked Lockhart to send over a report about Handlin’s behaviour. Terrey co-wrote this unpublished document along with two other executive-level people at the label. It’s said to have detailed allegations against Handlin, including claims of daily abuse, “frequent mad rages of screaming”, bullying and intimidation, humiliating staff in meetings, and concerns about his drinking habits.
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As part of the report created for the New York head office, Lockhart alleged Handlin ordered him on several occasions to have staff members followed by private detectives. Lockhart said Denis’ “obsession with total control” fuelled these orders, as well as further instructions to fire staff for unfair reasons.
Lockhart said reasons Handlin allegedly wanted people sacked included “not liking the physical look of someone”, “not smiling at him”, and “being pregnant”.
Four Corners further confirmed that at least seven women were made redundant while on maternity leave, which extended over a six-year period up until 2013, and were paid cash settlements on the way out.
Allegations of discrimination against women have also been levelled at Handlin, with “laddish behaviour” apparently accepted within the company while he was at the helm. Former senior manager Matthew McQuade told Four Corners he witnessed this behaviour first-hand when Handlin began objectifying an employee not long after she had been hired.
“I was standing with Denis and he started making sexual comments about an employee I’d just hired,” he said. “Breasts, physique, those sorts of things.
“Because of the position of power, it allowed people who wanted to have that laddish view of life the free rein to do it. “There were no consequences for doing it because ultimately one person held all the power. He set the tone.”
A lot of this behaviour has been anonymously posted through Beneath The Glass Ceiling‘s Instagram account, which has been identified by other former staff members, including former secretary Eleanor McKay.
“As soon as I read them I actually felt sick,” she said to the ABC. “I felt really angry that it was still going on and that it was still predominantly young women or junior staff who were bearing the brunt, and they were the ones that had to speak out.”
The number of allegations levelled at major music labels in Australia through that account in late 2020 is what tipped the scales for Sony, and resulted in Handlin getting the sack in June this year. Following the report filed in 1998, the global head office suspended Handlin from his position while it conducted an investigation into his behaviour. Apparently, 10 executives from Sony’s Australian offices were flown to New York for individual interviews about what they had witnessed and experienced.
Three months after his suspension, Handlin was reinstated as the head of the Australian company by the global headquarters and would go on to rule the roost for another 20 years. This was the final straw for a lot of the then-senior staff, with nine of the group of 10 reportedly leaving the company within four years of Handlin’s return. None of the artists who have seen success during Handlin’s tenure at Sony Music Australia has publicly spoken about the allegations – a list that includes the likes of Delta Goodrem, Tones And me, Amy Shark, Guy Sebastian, Gang Of Youths, Midnight Oil, and Tina Arena – but that may change once the Four Corners episode airs.
In a statement to Four Corners, Handlin said he has “always provided support and encouragement” to women in the music industry, and he “took action” on any inappropriate behaviour that was reported to him while at the label. “I would never tolerate treating women in an inappropriate or discriminatory manner,” he said. “At any time I was made aware of this sort of behaviour I took action to ensure that it was stopped and didn’t occur again.”
Denis Handlin is married to Jan Handlin, they had their wedding in 1977. Handlin and his wife Jan have six children together. However, Denis Handlin has been a mentor of the Queensland State of Origin series rugby league team since 2006.
Denis Handlin net worth
How much is Denis Handlin worth? Denis Handlin net worth is estimated at around $10 million. His salary is around $400,000 and his main source of income is from his career as a business executive. Handlin’s successful career has earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy cars. However, on 15 June 2021, Sony Music Australia became the centre of claims of bullying and harassment with its US-based headquarters investigating. On 21 June 2021, it was announced that Handlin was leaving the company after 50 years.