Matt Gudinski will lead Mushroom Group, the independent music giant founded by his late father, Michael Gudinski. With immediate effect, the younger Gudinski assumes the role of CEO of the Melbourne-based group, which boasts over 250 employees and two dozen companies.
Gudinski’s elevation follows the sudden passing of his father on March 2, at the age of 68.
Matt was tapped as successor and presented to the industry as the company’s future leader some years ago. When Michael Gudinski rebranded the company in 2013 as part of the Mushroom Group’s 40th anniversary celebrations, he promoted Matt to group executive director, a central role that reflected his prominent standing in the company.
Gudinski told industry guests during a party on the night in central Melbourne that Matt was “going to take the mantle,” when the time comes.
In the eight years since, the two Gudinskis worked together on steering the group. “This isn’t a role that I expected to assume yet, but I am determined to honor the great legacy my father left,” Matt Gudinski says in a statement, confirming his new leadership role. “Mushroom Group is in its strongest position ever and as we fast approach our 50th year I know that our incredibly talented Mushroom family will help me deliver the vision Dad and I had for the next 50 years of our business.”
Matt joined Mushroom Group in 2003 at age 17, with the launch of his touring imprint, Illusive Presents. In 2016, Matt created RNB Fridays Live, one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest touring brands which has featured performances from Janet Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Usher, Lil John and many others.
Since his promotion in 2013, Matt played a key role in all aspects of the business, and oversaw all the Mushroom label subsidiaries which include Bloodlines, I OH YOU, Ivy League Records, Liberation Records, Liberator Music, Soothsayer and his own Illusive Sounds, label home to chart-topping hip-hop act Bliss N Eso, whom he co-manages. Matt also launched the Mushroom Group’s first dedicated management arm Role Model Artists, and last year launched Mushroom Group’s new, full-service music development company, 100s + 1000s.
A titan of Australia’s music industry, Michael Gudinski’s life and career was remembered at a state memorial, held last month at Rod Laver Arena, featuring speeches from both his children, Matt and Kate, and performances from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Jimmy Barnes and Kylie Minogue.
The group he built from the ground up is the largest independent music enterprise in Australia and New Zealand, with businesses active in all conceivable areas of entertainment, from music publishing to booking agencies, labels, venues and, of course, concerts, through the formidable Frontier Touring Company.