Mat Vlasic Steps Down as CEO of Bravado, Universal Music’s Merchandise Unit

Mat Vlasic stepped down as CEO of Universal Music Group’s merchandise division Bravado on Thursday, a rep for the company confirmed to Variety.

The rep shared the following statement: “Mat Vlasic informed the company that he is stepping down from his role as CEO of Bravado, our global merchandising division. John Habbouch, Bravado’s General Manager and CFO, will assume interim leadership until a successor CEO is named.” The news was first reported by Billboard.

A source close to the situation tells Variety that the decision was mutual, however, most major merchandise companies are facing steep challenges in the pandemic. UMG’s third quarter earnings report, released earlier this week, showed merch and related revenues plummeting 42.6% compared to the first nine months of 2019.

High points in Vlasic’s tenure at the helm of Bravado, which he joined from Sony Music in March of 2016, include the inking of a deal with the Prince estate in 2017; the acquisition last year of Epic Rights, which includes Kiss, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, *NSYNC, Def Leppard, Billy Joel and David Bowie, among others, on its roster; and the opening in August of the Rolling Stones’ “Flagship Store” in London’s Soho district.

He was with Sony Music for 13 years, rising from coordinator to manager to director before being named vice president in 2009. Prior to Sony, he held roles at Kaufman Patricof Entertainment, AOL and the music agency MVO. Ltd.

John Habbouch was named Bravado’s CFO in 2016 and was added general manager to his role 2019.

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