Sony Music Australia and New Zealand names new chair-CEO

Her selection follows a 'careful and thorough recruitment process'

Sony Music Australia and New Zealand names new chair-CEO

Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand has found its newest chair and chief executive officer (CEO) in Vanessa Picken, who will begin in her new role this September. 

Picken will be overseeing all operations, artist signings, marketing, and business partnerships for the company. It is also expected of her to establish new partnerships for artists with other Sony company and identify opportunities for them across various entertainment platforms.

The incoming chair and CEO, who will report to Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer, said she is delighted to come home for her new role.

"I'm delighted to be coming home to join Sony Music Australia and New Zealand to take the company into a transformative next chapter. Our strategies will focus on music, allyship, and innovation, with a global mindset," she said in a statement.

"Sony Music has a renowned reputation for empowering its artists and creators, breaking down traditional barriers to put them at the centre of everything it does. We will reaffirm our commitment to the discovery and development of new and emerging talent across both countries, as well as expanding the commercial and creative opportunities for our roster of artists locally and internationally."

She will replace former chair and CEO Denis Handlin, who resigned back in June 2021.

Read more: Sony Music Australia ‘investigating complaints of toxic workplace culture’

Sony Music Group chairman Stringer said Picken's selection follows a "careful and thorough recruitment process."

"We are delighted to have Vanessa join our company in such a key role," he said in a statement. "Her impressive background covers so many areas of the modern music business in Australia and New Zealand and her recent leadership experience in the United States adds a global understanding to those existing skills. We believe Vanessa will be a trailblazing executive leading Sony Music Australia to an exciting future."

Picken recently served as managing director of an independent global music company [PIAS] in Los Angeles, United States, where she also ran its Digital Strategy across America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

She is also the founder of digital agency and label services company, Comes With Fries, which provides creative, digital marketing, and media services to independent artists, managers, labels, as well as various organisations and brands.

Her career in the music industry began at EMI Music Australia in 2006, where she spent five years working with the label's local and international artists.

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