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Spotify’s CFO announces exit days after company lays off 17% of staff

Spotify's chief financial officer will leave the music streaming giant in the coming months, the company announced. This comes just three days after the company announced plans to lay off 17% of its workforce in its third round of job cuts this year.

Paul Vogel, who joined Spotify in 2016 as director of investor relations and was selected for the CFO position in 2020, “plans to leave the company on March 31, 2024,” Spotify announced. press release.

CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement that Spotify has begun the search for a new CFO. Meanwhile, Ben Kuhn, vice president of financial planning and analysis, will assume additional responsibilities.

“Spotify has embarked on an evolution over the past two years that has enabled us to better align our spending with market expectations, while also funding the significant growth opportunities we continue to identify.” Ek said in a statement..

“I have had many conversations with Paul about the need to carefully balance these two goals. As time goes on, Spotify is entering a new phase, and we are hiring a CFO with a different combination of experience. We have come to the conclusion that this is necessary,” he added.

“As a result, we have decided to part ways.”

Paul Vogel, who joined Spotify in 2016 as head of investor relations and was promoted to the CFO position in 2020, will leave the company in March 2024, the company announced Thursday. Provided by Spotify

Representatives for Spotify did not immediately respond to The Post's request for comment.

Vogel's impending departure caps off a terrifying week at the streaming giant, which said in a blog post on Monday that 17% of its roughly 9,000 employees will receive pink slips. Announced.

In a company-wide email, Mr. Ek said that Spotify was taking steps to “optimize costs” as mass hiring began due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, when the benchmark federal funds rate was hovering around 3%. He said he was taking “substantive action.”

The Fed has introduced aggressive tightening policy by 2022, raising interest rates to 5.5% from the current 22-year high of 5.25%, hurting the finances of consumers and companies including Spotify. There is.

Spotify's latest layoffs will affect about 1,500 jobs, Ek said, and the laid-off employees will receive “approximately five months' worth of severance,” accrued paid time off, and severance during their severance. He will receive health insurance.

“Being slim is not just a choice, it's a necessity,” Spotify's 40-year-old billionaire boss added in a 1,000-word note shared earlier this week.

The Stockholm, Sweden-based company plans to slim down throughout 2023, cutting 6% of its workforce since the start of the year and reducing its workforce to 600, including Dawn Ostrov, the company's chief content and advertising officer. member was abolished.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek justified the company's latest round of layoffs in an email on Monday, saying they were “lowering costs” following a hiring frenzy in 2020 and 2021, when capital was much cheaper. “We are taking substantial action to normalize the situation,” he said. AFP/Getty Images

At the time, Ek sent a similar email to employees informing them that the company was spending too much money and was struggling to contain costs despite “considerable efforts.”

Then, following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's highly publicized podcasting fiasco, Spotify laid off 2% of its staff (roughly 200 roles) in June.

The streaming giant reportedly paid the Duchess of Sussex more than $18 million for her podcast, “Archetypes,” which she launched last summer, only to reach the top spot on the Spotify charts. The company was forced to lay off a significant number of staff due to content errors. judgement.

Ms Markle's multi-million dollar pay comes at a time when Spotify has had to lay off staff behind the scenes to cope, with top podcasters Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper and Emma Chamberlain making big profits. It was part of a massive $1 billion bet on podcasting. investment.

However, Rogan is rumored to be moving his wildly popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which draws an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, to a rival platform when his exclusive licensing agreement with Spotify expires next year. There is.

Spotify also cut employees in January and June following the costly fiasco of Meghan Markle's podcast Archetype. Getty Images for Project Healthy Minds

Spotify reportedly paid Rogan $200 million as part of a deal in 2020, but could be forced to spend even more to keep the highly-paid podcast host.

Analysts believe Mr. Rogan is in the driver's seat, saying he has plans to branch out on his own, starting a media company that will produce podcasts and other content that appeals to his fan base. There are various options.

Another option could be to team up with Rogan's close friend Elon Musk, the Tesla tycoon who famously got in trouble for smoking pot on Rogan's podcast.

Meanwhile, Spotify is struggling to turn a profit. In an apparent move to do so, implemented a $1 price increase across its U.S. plans in July. Currently, premium single tiers start at $10.99, duos at $14.99, family plans at $16.99, and student plans at $5.99.

It's also expanding into audiobooks, with a rumored $20 per month “Supremium” tier that will include access to book recordings.

According to famous blogger Chris Messina, Spotify will roll out its most expensive monthly subscription option in the coming months, giving listeners personalized “sound capsules” and “24-bit lossless audio” (a.k.a. The plan is to provide access to 24-bit lossless audio. “Hi-Fi” or “HiFi”.

Joe Rogan's podcast is one of Spotify's cash cows, but its all-important exclusive licensing agreement with Rogan is set to expire next year. It's unclear whether Mr. Rogan will move his popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” to another platform. Powerful JRE/YouTube

Users who subscribe to the Supreme tier will also reportedly be able to listen to 30 hours of audiobooks per month, as well as sort their library by mood, activity, and genre.

The more expensive subscription option is an apparent move by Spotify to straighten its profits after reporting a $503 million loss for the first nine months of this year.

Last year, at Spotify's first investor day since going public, Ek announced ambitious growth goals, including wanting to make the company profitable by 2024 and hit $100 billion in revenue by 2030.

Spotify, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, rose more than 1% to $195.82 in premarket trading Friday.

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