News that Paul Vogel will step down at the end of March arrives days after the company announced it would lay off 17 percent of its workforce
Spotify‘s Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel is stepping down, the company said on Thursday — the news arrives three days after the streaming service announced plans to layoff off 17 percent of its global workforce.
Vogel joined Spotify in 2016 and was appointed Spotify’s CFO in 2020. He’ll remain at the streaming platform until March 31, 2024.
The shakeup at the company this week comes as Spotify looks to rein in its spending and improve its profit margins. While Spotify is the largest music streaming service in the world and has grown its market share exponentially over the past several years, it’s yet to find a consistent path to profitability as it pays out a majority of its streaming earnings to the major record labels. Still, the timing of the layoff this week was surprising given that the company finally announced its first profitable quarter in over a year during its Q3 quarterly earnings report in October.
“Spotify has embarked on an evolution over the last two years to bring our spending more in line with market expectations while also funding the significant growth opportunities we continue to identify,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement announcing Vogel’s departure. “I’ve talked a lot with Paul about the need to balance these two objectives carefully. Over time, we’ve come to the conclusion that Spotify is entering a new phase and needs a CFO with a different mix of experiences.”
Spotify looked to the podcast world to shake its reliance on the low margins music-streaming model, spending $1 billion to buy podcast studios like Gimlet and secure exclusive rights to popular podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience and Call Her Daddy. That bet hasn’t resulted in more profits though, and along with laying off 1,500 people this week, it also canceled the acclaimed podcasts Heavyweight and Stolen.
Spotify isn’t the only streaming service to layoff staff this week. Tidal, founded by Jay Z and now owned by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, also laid off around 40 workers — about 10 percent of its staff — this week, as Bloomberg first reported.