In a surprise move, Mog founder David Hyman stepped down as CEO of the company yesterday, just months after selling it to Beats Electronics. The news was first reported in CNET and confirmed by a Beats rep and by Hyman via a Facebook post.
"Effective immediately, David Hyman will be stepping down from his role as CEO of MOG, but will continue working closely with the company as a strategic advisor," the rep said.
The sale of Mog to Beats, which was first reported in March and closed early in July, brought Beats a missing link in its business chain. "We've since expanded the Beats mission to every other link in the music experience chain - speakers, mobile phones, personal computers and automobile sound systems," Beats COO Luke Wood said in a statement announcing the deal. "With Mog, we are adding the best music service to the Beats portfolio for the first truly end-to-end music experience. With their talent and technology, the possibilities around future innovation are endless."
Mog has long ranked far behind subscription leaders Rhapsody, Spotify and Muve Music. The last public figure Mog gave was 160,000 average monthly users, a number that includes both paying subscribers and users of its free on-demand service. It launched in December 2009 as a paid subscription service and introduced free on-demand listening in September 2011. In recent months, Mog has taken the usual tactic of offering two free months of premium access to users who upgrade from the free offering.
Mog originally launched as a network of music blogs that were tied together by an advertising network. That advertising network was kept separate of the music service and was sold to Townsend Media Group in August.
After the sale, Hyman was to stay on as CEO while reporting directly to Wood.
Late yesterday, Hyman posted on Facebook, "MOG... my child, it's been a long great journey. But like Sting said, 'If you love something, set it free.' You're in good hands at Beats. I'm looking forward to my first real break since 1994. Nepal? Kauai? Taking a year off. Do not disturb."