The chapter 11 bankruptcy court proceedings for electronic music conglomerate SFX Entertainment have gone less than smoothly, but a proposed leadership switch may change matters. Sources informed The Wall Street Journal that, pending court approval, former AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips will serve the same position on SFX's board now that its founder, Robert Sillerman, has stepped down.
Being that the vast majority SFX's solvent assets are those under the ownership umbrella of Dutch promoter ID&T, which the former company acquired in 2013, its leadership intends to re-emphasize its role as a purveyor of live music events. As such, it makes sense for an executive with extensive experience in that subset of the industry to take the reins.
Murmurs had surfaced in The Netherlands suggesting that European players like Q-Dance founder Wouter Tavecchio of Q-Dance and Rocco Veenboer of Awakenings would assume leadership positions in a "new SFX." If the bankruptcy courts approve the proposal, however, SFX Entertainment's post-bankruptcy board of executives will not be entirely Dutch after all.
Phillips is not free of controversy himself. In 2013 he went to trial for allegedly pushing Michael Jackson to perform despite his deteriorating condition, which ultimately led to the pop star's death. In 2015, he was chosen to head up Global Entertainment, then unexpectedly stepped down after a short seven months. Therefore, his appointment as CEO of SFX Entertainment might not free the controversy-mired corporation of its volatile company culture.
Robert Sillerman launched SFX in 2012 as an attempt to monopolize dance music, buying up brands like Beatport, Flavorus, Miami Marketing Group and i-Motion over the years to follow. Its stock steadily declined due to the mismanagement of its numerous assets after its 2013 IPO, ultimately cratering after attendees of last year's TomorrowWorld were endangered by transportation issues. In February of this year, the company declared bankruptcy.
In addition to the aforementioned changing of the guard, SFX has agreed to turn its ownership over to its primary creditors, Allianz SE and Axar Management. The sources expect SFX Entertainment to wrap up its chapter 11 restructuring as early as this fall, but considering the mishaps that have already taken place such an estimate seems optimistic.