(Bloomberg) -- Spotify Technology SA said Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel is departing, marking another top-level departure at the music streaming leader in the wake of sweeping cuts announced this week.
The company is seeking a successor, according to a statement Thursday. In the meantime, Ben Kung, the company’s vice president of financial planning and analysis, will take on added responsibilities. Vogel’s last day will be March 31.
“Spotify is entering a new phase and needs a CFO with a different mix of experiences,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said in the statement.
Vogel joins head of marketing Taj Alavi, who is also leaving the company. The departures illustrate that the deep cuts Spotify announced this week extend to the highest ranks of management.
Alavi, who came to the audio streaming giant following stints at Uber Technologies Inc. and Chime Financial Inc., will continue in her current role until February.
Word of Alavi’s departure took some Spotify staffers by surprise. Just last week, members of the company had gathered with advertisers and podcast publishing partners for a festive “Spotify Supper,” inside the Milling Room, a sumptuous restaurant on New York City’s Upper West Side.
There was plenty to celebrate. The company had just finished rolling out its annual Wrapped feature, which allows consumers to share data about their usage. It is one of the company’s most successful marketing campaigns. For days, everywhere you looked on social media, Spotify users were posting their year-end listening round-ups, generating tons of free publicity for the service.
The good mood didn’t last long. Days later, the company announced widespread layoffs totaling 1,500.
“We still have too many people dedicated to supporting work and even doing work around the work rather than contributing to opportunities with real impact,” Ek said in a statement earlier this week. “More people need to be focused on delivering for our key stakeholders – creators and consumers.”
From 2020 to 2022, as it expanded into podcasts and audiobooks, Spotify doubled its workforce. But the bet on podcasting has not lived up to its lofty ambitions, leaving Ek scrambling to scale back.
With Spotify’s human resources staff unable to speak to all affected employees until the end of the day on Tuesday, anxious staff members tried to figure out among themselves where the cuts had been made.
On Wednesday, during an all-hands meeting, Ek mostly stuck to his talking points, telling employees that he wants the company to be profitable and was making the big cuts now to avoid smaller ones throughout the next year or two, according to people who attended the meeting and asked not to be identified. Throughout the talk, the comments in the virtual meeting room’s group chat were tense. At one point, when Ek told people to bring questions and concerns to their managers, a chorus of workers typed that their bosses had been let go.
In the days since, more details have circulated among Spotify staffers. The cuts hit the podcast sales and hosting arm of the company, including people at Megaphone, which provides software for podcasts, and at Spotify Ad Analytics, as well as the director of ad integrity and brand safety.
“The safety of our community, including our listeners, creators, and advertisers, remains a top priority,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement. “Brand safety at Spotify has always been a team effort and will continue to be overseen by leaders across our product and policy orgs.”
As part of the restructuring, Marc Hazan, global head of premium business development, will lead the marketing department while Roman Wasenmüller, the head of strategic initiatives, will work more directly with the podcast business team.
Two popular podcasts, Heavyweight and Stolen, were canceled. The current seasons, now in production, will be their last. Once finished, both shows will be able to shop for new homes.
Beyond podcasting, a portion of the team working on Spotify Stages, the company’s effort to push into live music, was cut, according to a post by an impacted employee on LinkedIn.
“Opportunity does not always equal success, and what remains of the live team will look quite different moving forward — as will my path,” the employee wrote.
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