© Lucas Jackson / Reuters

In a leadership change, Spotify announced that its Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel will depart the company in March, concluding an eight-year tenure. The move comes days after Vogel cashed out $9.3 million in company stock following Spotify’s news that it would cut nearly 1,500 jobs globally, or about 15% of its workforce.

As Spotify’s share price jumped on the job cut announcement, Vogel opted to sell his shares. However, his exit from the role now signifies a shift in Spotify’s financial leadership as it works to boost margins.

Over the past three years under Vogel’s direction, Spotify greatly expanded its subscriber base from 124 million to 226 million users while growing quarterly revenue from $1.6 billion to $3.36 billion. However, maintaining profitability has remained an ongoing challenge due to high content licensing fees to major record labels.

Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek stated the company is entering a “new phase” requiring a CFO with a different experience mix. While appreciating Vogel’s work guiding Spotify’s finances through the pandemic, Ek signaled a leadership change is needed as cost-cutting moves forward.

Ben Kung, Spotify’s Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis is taking on expanded duties. The executive reshuffling aims to realign Spotify’s finance team as it targets a 40% gross margin and 20% operating margin per prior guidance given to investors. With leadership changes afoot, Spotify looks poised to intensify its efforts to balance growth and profitability in the years ahead.

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