'This is not a retirement situation': Martin Bandier on his future plans as he bows out of Sony/ATV

Martin Bandier

It’s the end of an era at Sony/ATV today, as chairman and CEO Martin Bandier departs after 12 years in charge.

During that time, his deal-making has become legendary; he’s guided the careers of the biggest songwriters and artists in the business; and worked with many of the publishing sector’s next generation of leaders, including Guy Moot, also heading out of Sony/ATV to join Carianne Marshall in a new top management team at Warner/Chappell.

But what is Bandier going to do next? He’s playing his cards pretty close to his chest, but in his recent valedictory cover story with Music Week, he did drop a few hints.

“I can only say that coming to an end at Sony/ATV is not a retirement moment, and that some future plans will be finalised once I’m out of Sony,” he said. “I’m not looking for a job, [it will be] something more grandiose than that. Once I leave Sony I’ll fix my plans for the future and I’d like to think there will be a future! My wife would not stand for me being around that much!”

When asked if he would be staying in publishing, he added: “Music will be a part of whatever I do. I’ve been in music all my life, I’m not going to become a dentist!”

Other sources suggest Bandier will be sizing up potential catalogue deals as he ponders his own company. But, while he has specialised in taking smaller publishing companies to the top – Sony/ATV was No.4 when he took over, while he also previously powered EMI to the No.1 position – you can probably rule out a repeat. When Music Week cheekily suggested he might join a challenger such as Kobalt – a company whose business model Bandier often criticised – he quipped: “They could certainly use help!”

And looking back on his career, Bandier signed off from Sony/ATV by saying: “It’s been terrific, and if it stopped here, it’d still be terrific. But it’s not stopping here…”

Watch this space…

* To read our exclusive cover story with Bandier, click here. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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