And Finally Business News Industry People Labels & Publishers

New Sony/ATV boss announces bonuses for everyone

By | Published on Thursday 4 April 2019


It can be hard to come in as the new boss of an established team at a big corporate company and win people over. How best to subtly tell your new team “hey, I’m a total non-arsehole, unlike that last guy”? Well, new Sony/ATV top bod Jon Platt has come up with a cunning ruse: Handing out free cash.

The one time “special recognition bonus” for all Sony/ATV staff members is being dished out to mark the company taking full control of EMI Music Publishing nearly six months ago. “I believe it’s very important … that all Sony/ATV employees should be rewarded for their contribution” to the takeover, reckons Platt, in an email to staff.

It was widely known that some bonuses had already been handed out in relation to that deal. At the time of the original acquisition of the EMI publishing company in 2012, by a Sony-led consortium, a deal to make $190 million available to Sony/ATV staff was agreed. Just not all staff. That money was shared out between former boss Marty Bandier and up to 20 of his management team – half of it going to Bandier himself.

Under the 2012 arrangement, Sony/ATV got the gig to administrate the EMI catalogue on behalf of the wider group of investors. A stock deal was put in place by Sony/ATV’s business partners to benefit the Sony publisher’s top execs, mainly as an incentive to ensure that they would work hard to keep the value of the EMI catalogue high and not just focus all their energies on the existing Sony songs repertoire.

Which they did. Well done everyone. And by doing so, those top execs benefitted handsomely after Sony/ATV took full control of the business. Something which has, apparently, left everyone else at Sony/ATV feeling a bit miffed.

It wasn’t just that handful of top people who worked on making a success of the EMI catalogue during the six years Sony was its administrator and minority shareholder, of course. Recognising this – although not mentioning the previous mega-bonuses – Platt says in his email that it had occurred to him “just how well the entire Sony/ATV team performed in contributing to the success of EMI”.

While he doesn’t mention Bandier, it’s hard not to read this as “wow, I’ve only been here a few days and I’ve already realised what a great job you’re all doing, what the hell was going on before?” But I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence.