Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand has announced a series of leadership changes, with Maria O’Connor (pictured left), who has served as managing director for the last 28 years, promoted to the position of regional chairman.

In her role, O’Connor will continue responsibility for her long-term industry relationships and look for opportunities to grow Ticketmaster’s business in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, former chief executive of the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) and industry vet, Gavin Taylor (pictured centre) will be taking on the role of managing director for Ticketmaster Australia.

Taylor, who also previously worked as general manager at Perth Stadium Management, has extensive experience in live entertainment, events and ticketing that spans 15 years. Through his career, Taylor has proven success in company transition phases, major industry reforms and has recently been managing the impact of the pandemic on football in WA.

Taylor said: “I’m very excited to be joining Ticketmaster, a company I have worked closely with throughout my career and one I genuinely believe in – both the product and the people. In this role, I’ll be focused on supporting the business and the wider live entertainment industry in Australia as we forge the path to reopening. Ticketmaster will play such an important part in reconnecting venues and artists with their loyal fans, and I look forward to playing a part in supporting and delivering these fan experiences.”

This appointment signals a number of additional senior executive promotions within the business.

Jim Kotsonis will move to the newly created position of executive vice-president of Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand.

Justin Pule will now serve officially as managing director of Ticketmaster New Zealand and Harley Evans, who joined the business in 2019, continues as managing director of Moshtix Australia and New Zealand servicing the general admission sector.

The Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC), which represents agents, venues, small promoters and ticketing companies, has announced its inaugural executive general manager, Craig Spann, and inaugural board.

Spann has previously worked with Virgin Australia, AMIN, QMusic and News Corp.

The Council, which was set up mid-year to provide a voice for all levels of the live sector and quickly gained 500 company members, has also appointed Select Music agency’s Stephen Wade to permanent chairman.

Others on the board are Sharlene Harris (ALH), Brian Chaldil (OzTix/Media Rare), Sophie Kirov (Lost Motel/Badlands), Christina Allen (Seamlaas), Nicholas Greco (Untitled), Phaedra Watts (Nannup Music Festival), Emily York (Penny Drop), Ross Macpherson (Macro Music), Jess Mizrahi (Deloitte Access Economics) and Haydn Johnston (Architects of Entertainment).

Elsewhere, global ticketing platform, TicketSearch has named Steve Garcia as chief operating officer for North America. Garcia will be responsible for steering TicketSearch’s sales, marketing, and customer support within the US, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining TicketSearch, Garcia spent 10 years in SaaS business development at SeatAdvisor and was later promoted to vice-president of account management.

Dennis Doulgeridis, TicketSearch founder, said: “While the pandemic has brought instability to the entertainment industry, our vision of taking the industry to a new level has remained steady. For nearly a decade, Steve Garcia and I have collaborated through the development of other ticketing platforms. Now that we have the next-generation ticketing solution, it is the perfect time to join forces to support our venues and bring back the arts.”

SecuTix has appointed Bertrand Vicainne (pictured right) to senior sales manager of its team in France.

He will be responsible to develop the offer and implementation of the firm’s solutions in the sports sector in France.

Bertrand has held strategic sales and ticketing management positions for major sports institutions such as the French Football Federation and for major sporting events, such as Rugby World Cup, Euro, UEFA Champions League, 24 Heures du Mans.

“I am delighted to join the SecuTix team at this very special time,” said Vicainne. “The sudden difficulties that the sports sector is facing also represent an incredible opportunity for modernisation. Faced with many new constraints (social distancing, restricted gauges, reduction of sales channels) the sports world must change its commercial strategy and its management of the public. SecuTix is the complete, innovative and agile tool that sport needs to activate its digital transformation.”

Elsewhere, vice-president of client development of music and festivals at Ticketmaster UK Sarah Slater has become non-executive director of British startup Beatstream Live Music Streaming.

The company’s main business is giving fans paid access to live audio streams of concerts, with a feed taken directly from the venue’s mixing desk.