Hundreds of former and current Sony Music employees have spoken out about the alleged "toxic" culture at the company under former chief executive Denis Handlin.
The staff members from the multinational conglomerate spoke with Four Corners as part of an investigation into what the ABC labelled a culture of "fear and intimidation" and "systemic bullying, discrimination and misconduct" during Handlin's 36 years as CEO of Australian operations.
The former CEO and chairman of Sony Music Australia abruptly left the company in June as a staff email declared the company was going in a "new direction".
It followed an investigation into the workplace culture at Sony after a staff member from the company's Sydney office alleged they were subjected to bullying and harassment.
There is no suggestion Handlin's departure was related to the allegations.
But four months later, staff at Sony have broken ranks to detail to Four Corners what they experienced at the company while Handlin was running the show.
"The kindest thing I could say about Denis was that he was sort of an equal opportunity abuser," said Eleanor McKay, who joined Sony in 1986.
"He was as mean to men as he was to women."
In a statement to the ABC, Handlin said: "I have always provided support and encouragement to women in the industry and personally championed diversity.
"I would never tolerate treating women in an inappropriate or discriminatory manner.
"At any time I was made aware of this sort of behaviour I took action to ensure that it was stopped and didn't occur again."
The Four Corners report included a staff video obtained by the ABC in which Handlin was dressed as Adolf Hitler for an eight-minute skit.
McKay said Handlin was "volatile".
"Denis was very volatile, you know? I remember that. And sort of being a bit shocked by how intense he was. And, in both ways, like, when he was happy … the whole office was, you know, fun and games, and when he was not, it was like, 'Whoa, he's on the rampage,' and everybody wanted to get out of the way."
Another staff member who spoke out against Handlin was Alan Terrey, the former CEO's second-in-charge.
He told the ABC he could not "go to my grave without telling my story".
Terrey recalled a time when Handlin demanded he fire a receptionist who had been with the company for 10 years.
"Now, I want you to fire her," Terrey recalled Handlin telling him.
Terrey alleges Handlin told him he wanted a younger woman at the front desk.
A nine-page report for Sony's international president, obtained by the ABC, contained allegations that Handlin had a drinking habit that would leave him verbally abusive "when he's drunk" and that Handlin had Sony personnel "followed by private detectives".
Handlin began his career in the mail room at Sony Music and is the company's longest-serving employee globally after joining the organisation in 1970. He became CEO of the Australian operations in 1984.
His departure, which was effective as soon as it was announced in June, was announced by Sony Music's global boss Rob Stringer in an internal email on Monday.
"It is time for a change in leadership and I will be making further announcements in terms of the new direction of our business in Australia and New Zealand in due course," the note said.
He added: "My team and I will be speaking further to your team leaders about this process throughout the week, but at this point I wanted to let everyone know this news at the same time."
Handlin was thanked for his "extraordinary contribution" to the company in the email, where he has held the position of chairman since 1996.
During his time, he led the company into new areas such as video games, music publishing, DVDs, CD manufacturing, and television and content creation.
"Denis is renowned for his highly competitive spirit and his championing of local talent. Under his leadership, Australian artists such as Men at Work, Midnight Oil, Silverchair, John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite, Tina Arena, Delta Goodrem, Human Nature, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, The Veronicas, Justice Crew, David Campbell, Amy Shark, Tash Sultana, Gang of Youths and Ruel have achieved international recognition and success," according to his company bio.
In 2005, Handlin was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of "service to the music industry, particularly through the promotion of Australian musicians, to professional organisations, and to the community through fundraising for charitable organisations".
An influential figure in the Australian music industry, with a number of awards to his name, he has been married to his wife Jan since 1977 and they have six children.
Handlin has been a member of the board at the Australian Recording Industry Association since 1984 and chairman of the ARIA Board since 2010.
He is also a founding member of the Sony Foundation of Australia, which has raised over $31 million since 1998 for youth-based charitable causes.