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News March 13, 2020

Spotify is recruiting a new MD for Australia & NZ after Karen Lawson departs

Senior Journalist, B2B
Spotify is recruiting a new MD for Australia & NZ after Karen Lawson departs

Karen Lawson is exiting as managing director of Spotify Australia and New Zealand, less than a year into the role.

Lawson, the former chief of start-up accelerator Slingshot, took the big job last June, replacing Jane Huxley, who was promoted to managing director across the streaming giant’s Europe, Middle East and Africa activities.

The Sydney-based exec is departing at an unknown date and backfill recruiting is underway, TIO can confirm. A spokesperson for Spotify declined to comment on the development, first published by Mumbrella.

Ahead of joining the company last year, Lawson tweeted: “It’s wonderful to be part of a business which is so loved by millions of people around the world.” The outgoing chief hasn’t updated her followers on her departure.

Image of a person using the Spotify app

Spotify

Spotify launched in Australia in May 2012 under then-MD Kate Vale. The company has rolled out several world-firsts Down Under, including its ad-skipping Active Media product, which was tested in 2018.

ComScore data included in a corporate update in 2018 revealed Spotify reached 8 million monthly unique users in Australia, which means roughly half of the country’s smartphone users are on the platform. That figure has almost certainly grown since the update was distributed.

Over the past year, Spotify’s head of automation and data Dan Robins and head of sales Cassie Gilbert have also left the company, while Bauer Media’s former digital strategy and commercial director Peter Manten is on board as head of sales, Mumbrella reports.

In other news, the tech giant this week introduced a work-from-home policy for its staff as the Coronavirus continues to spread the globe.

“I have asked Spotify employees to work from home for the next two weeks due to the increased risk of COVID-19. We all have an obligation to delay the spread of the virus and thus the expected pressure on our healthcare system. I hope other companies in Sweden will follow suit,” Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of the company, tweeted.

Spotify is by some distance the world’s biggest and best-known streaming music service. The Stockholm-based company recently announced it had 271 million monthly active users, including 124 million premium subscribers.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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