A little more than a year after Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski unexpectedly passed away at age 68, the principals at Mushroom Group subsidiary Frontier Touring have unveiled a new leadership structure to ensure the “legacy, mission, and culture of Frontier is preserved and nurtured,” according to a press release.
Frontier’s executive team will be comprised of four members of the current leadership team, all of whom have been elevated to new roles within the company: Dion Brant to CEO, Susan Heymann to CFO, Reegan Stark to chief marketing and communications officer and Andrew Spencer to chief commercial officer.
The executive team will report to the Frontier Touring board, comprised of representatives from both AEG Presents — which formed a joint venture with Gudinski and Frontier in 2019 — and representatives of Mushroom Group, the umbrella corporation that is home to a number of Australian music brands. The Frontier Touring board includes Brandt, AEG Presents chairman and CEO Jay Marciano, Mushroom Group chairman and CEO Matt Gudinski and Adam Wilkes, who will now serve as chairman of the Frontier board.
“I couldn’t be happier announcing our new Frontier Executive team. Mushroom Group is built on our great people, which is something we’ve always valued first and foremost,” Matt Gudinski said in a statement to Billboard. “I’m thrilled that moving forward Frontier will be led by four incredibly dedicated, experienced, and strong leaders in Dion, Reegan, Susan, and Spence, working closely with myself, Adam, and the AEG Presents team. Frontier was founded on strong relationships, an artist-first approach and a never-ending passion for music and I know Dad’s legacy and the future of Frontier is in safe hands. There are exciting times ahead for the company.”
Marciano added, “Michael Gudinski was a man of endless passion, energy, and creativity, with an innate sense for the business, and it was clear no one person could replace him.” He continued, “All of us who worked together on this new structure were bound by the same sense of duty: we’re committed to properly and thoroughly stewarding Michael’s vision for the future of Frontier.”
Added Wilkes: “Frontier Touring has an incredible team of some of the most talented individuals in our business. I know we all would have preferred not to have to make this announcement given the circumstances surrounding it, but everyone who knew and loved Michael also knows what his company and its continued success meant to him and we’re proud to be working with Matt, Dion and the broader team to deliver Michael’s vision for the future.”
Since 2016, Wilkes has served as president and CEO of AEG Presents Asia Pacific, where he oversees AEG’s concert touring, sports and venue development business in 15 countries throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim.
Brant, who joined Frontier Touring and Mushroom Group in 2013, was instrumental in negotiating strategic partnerships with AEG Presents and Chugg Entertainment and helped steer the business through COVID-19 to its current return to touring.
Heymann previously served as managing director of Chugg Entertainment and has almost 20 years in the touring business. He will continue to act as a promoter, oversee Chugg Entertainment tours and work closely with Frontier’s other joint venture partners and in-house team of promoters – Michael Chugg, Gerard Schlaghecke, and Sahara Herald – to expand Frontier’s live business.
Stark, who has 19 years of experience in the business, will be responsible for all aspects of Frontier’s brand, marketing, communications, digital and sponsorship.
Rounding out the Frontier executive team, Spencer will handle business affairs, strategy and business development.
“You can’t replace a once in a lifetime icon like Michael Gudinski, but you can understand and be true to the values that made him the best, ” Brant tells Billboard. “For Frontier going forward it is not about one individual or leader, it is about our whole team all working hard to build on Frontier’s reputation as one of the most respected concert promoters in the world. I am excited to lead the business out of COVID and ensure we continue to provide the excellent service and care to artists and fans that made Michael so highly revered and Frontier the business we are today.”
“It’s been three years since Chugg Entertainment joined forces with Frontier and so much has changed in that time, we’ve faced challenges and losses we never planned for, nor could ever have imagined,” Heymann added. “But through all of it, some things never changed. We continue to be focused on the same core values that Michael Gudinski and Michael Chugg built their businesses on and the ideals that brought them back together; artists and fans, first. While we can’t ever replace Michael Gudinski, we move forward as a collective who share his passion and principles and will continue to grow the Frontier Touring business to honor his legacy.”