Paul Vogel will step down as Spotify’s chief financial officer on March 31, 2024, the company announced Thursday (Dec. 7). As the streaming giant searches for a replacement, Ben Kung, vp of financial planning and analysis, will take on expanded responsibilities to support “the company’s realignment of its financial leadership team,” the announcement stated.
Vogel was promoted to chief financial officer in 2020 after the departure of Barry McCarthy (he would become CEO of Peloton in 2022). He had previously headed Spotify’s investor relations and led the financial planning and analysis teams. During his tenure, Spotify grew from 124 million to 226 million subscribers and expanded quarterly revenue by 81% from 1.86 billion euros ($2 billion) to 3.36 billion euros ($3.63 billion).
Despite the constant growth, Spotify has continued to routinely post operating losses and struggled to turn a financial corner within the constraints of a business model dominated by high music licensing costs. In a statement, CEO Daniel Ek noted that Spotify spent two years trying to bring its spending in line with investors’ expectations while putting money into growth opportunities.
“I’ve talked a lot with Paul about the need to balance these two objectives carefully,” said Ek in a statement. “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. As a result, we’ve decided to part ways, but I am very appreciative of the steady hand Paul has provided in supporting the expansion of our business through a global pandemic and unprecedented economic uncertainty.”
Looking forward, the future CFO will be tasked with helping Spotify reach some of the key goals it laid out at a June 2022 Investor Day presentation — namely 40% gross margin and 20% operating margin. “We are on track to deliver against the goals we outlined at our Investor Day and our recent actions will help us accelerate these efforts,” said Ek. “We look forward to tapping a strong financial leader as our next CFO and I will share more details soon.”
Spotify’s share price declined 2.2% to $191.51 in after-hours trading Thursday following the announcement.