Sony Music Australia's longtime chief Denis Handlin has been elected chairman of the Asia/Pacific Regional Board of international trade group IFPI. Handlin was elected at a regional board meeting in Hong Kong earlier this week, replacing Warner Music Asia Pacific president Lachie Rutherford, who is retiring after 10 years in the role.
Handlin recently celebrated 30 years at the helm of Sony Music's Australia operations at a charity party in Sydney packed with a "mind-boggling lineup" of Sony superstars and execs.
At Sony, Handlin's official title is chairman and CEO, Australia & New Zealand and president, Asia, Sony Music Entertainment. He began his career with the Australian Record Company (now Sony Music Australia) in 1970, taking over the CEO role in 1984. Now Sony Music's longest-serving staffer in the world, he was appointed chairman of Sony Music Entertainment Australia in 1996 and his role was expanded to include all of Asia in the early part of this decade.
In 2005 he was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the music and for his fundraising activities.
"I am delighted to accept the chairmanship of IFPI’s Asia/Pacific Regional Board," Handlin said in a prepared statement. "We have the seen the recording industry expand its operations across the region over the last few years, in part because of the role IFPI has been able to play in opening up markets and ensuring fair legislation to protect rights holders is in place. I believe we are only starting to tap the potential of emerging markets across Asia and the next few years offer a wealth of opportunity for record companies."
The same IFPI board meeting also saw the election of Universal Music Asia Pacific president George Ash to vice chair, replacing Handlin.