#2: Michael Gudinski, Mushroom Group, Executive Chairman
A regular in the top tier of the Power 50 and last year’s #1 (his third since 2012), it’s no surprise to see Michael Gudinski landing so high again as his multi-faceted and innovative Mushroom Group seized on a host of new opportunities over the past 12 months. With 24 companies under the one umbrella employing over 200 staff across three major cities, “MG”s famous high energy approach to the music business came in handy.
For starters, there was the development of Mushroom Creative House – headed up by Executive Director and son, Matt Gudinski – and a renewed ongoing publishing partnership with UNIFIED after a successful initial six-year run. The partnership will continue to see UNIFIED offer their A&R services to Mushroom Music, and Mushroom Music provide their suite of publishing services, including synchronisation pitching/licensing, creative services, administration and collection to UNIFIED.
The company’s agship record label, Liberation Music, underwent a major rebrand after more than 15 years in operation. Now known as Liberation Records, the stable is overseen by Managing Director, Damian Slevison who con rmed that the label will place a focus on “new-ish acts and a centre point of triple j and community radio.”
Gudinski also introduced Bloodlines, a sub label that has become home to some of the most iconic names in Australian music from Yothu Yindi to Jimmy Barnes. “Warren Costello and I chose the name Bloodlines because it reflects ‘family’ and ‘pedigree’ and honours the past but, equally importantly, looks to the future,” he explained when unveiling the new venture.
The company installed Ivy League’s Chris Maund as Chief Operating Officer Of Recording & Publishing back in February. The newly created role sees Maund stepping up to work across operations for the group’s entire label, including the likes of Liberation, Liberator, Ivy League, 100s + 1000s, I OH YOU and Soothsayer, and publishing arm, Mushroom Music.
2017 also saw the return of one of Australia’s most beloved icons, Kylie Minogue. After a 15-year absence and 30 years since she first signed with Mushroom Records, Gudinski and his team welcomed the songstress back into the fray, announcing in December that Minogue’s forthcoming album would be released through Liberator Music in Australia and New Zealand.
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As Gudinski’s Mushroom Group shapes up for another huge (and record-breaking) year with almost too much for us to cover here, we shouldn’t forget that the Frontier division are also at the helm of arguably the biggest tours on the Australian circuit including Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Harry Styles, Sam Smith and The Killers.
An enterprise this diverse that sustains so many important elements of the Australian music industry is a testament to an incredible team and, no doubt, an incredible architect.