Stephen can be rightly described as an expert all rounder. Over the course of a more than 30 year career, Stephen has been a successful lawyer, CEO and entrepreneur. The skills and experiences gained over the course of his career have given Stephen real insights into the running of successful businesses and the drivers of profitability.
In 2011, Stephen established a business advisory consultancy. His initial clients included Pandora Media Inc, the operators of the Pandora internet radio service, and new media start up Moshcam, which is focused on the creation and “on demand” distribution of live music video. Through determined negotiation, Stephen secured for Pandora the necessary music licences to enable the launch of Pandora’s service in both Australia and New Zealand in mid-2012. As of 2015, these are still the only two territories outside the U.S. to have access to the wildly successful Pandora service. During this time Stephen also became Executive Chair and subsequently CEO of Moshcam, who he initially advised on the development of their business plan and investment presentations. Having successfully undertaken a seed capital raising for them (securing over $2m in funding for the company), he agreed to take on the CEO role on a full time basis. He continued in that role until mid-2014 when he decided to step back from that position. He continues as an advisor to the company, working closely with the current Executive Chair. In more recent times, Stephen’s projects have included advisory services to another Australian based start up, Pivot Electronics, which is developing leading edge electrical surge protection equipment. He has assisted in the company’s transition from what was essentially an R&D lab to a fully functioning commercial business that is on track to reach profitability in the near future. Stephen serves as a non-executive director on the board of that company.
From 2002 to 2010, Stephen served as concurrent CEO of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), the trade association for the recorded music sector in Australia, and Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), the licensing organisation for the sector. In that role, he was responsible for developing and implementing the overall strategy for the organisations, as well as all internal and external stakeholder communications and management including to various board members (incl major and independent labels), artist managers and artist representatives, licensee trade associations and regulators (such as the ACCC and ACMA). Media communications were also a key part of his role, especially in relation to the public prosecution of contentious issues. He also also developed and executed a 5 year strategic plan which saw the PPCA licensing revenues more than double over that period.
During 2000 to 2002, Stephen entered the start up world for the first time, accepting the role of Chief of Business Development at Peakhour, a company that developed what these days would be termed a cloud based computing service.
Prior to 2000, Stephen was a partner of one of Australia’s most successful law firms, Gilbert + Tobin. Joining that firm in late 1989, he went on to become a partner in the early 90s. He eventually became a full equity partner in the late 90s before deciding to leave in early 2000 to pursue a career in business. During his time at Gilbert +Tobin, Stephen developed one of Australia’s leading intellectual property and entertainment practices and included amongst his clients the Australian Recording Industry Association, various major record labels and a number of Viacom divisions including MTV Networks and Paramount.