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Spotify Exodus Continues With Departures of Mark Williamson & George Ergatoudis
Two of Spotify's most senior execs have exited the company with at least one understood to have jumped ship to rival streaming service Apple Music.
Mark Williamson, LA-based global head of artist and industry partnerships, announced his departure to colleagues in the past few days. He had been with the company for over seven years, initially joining as a special projects manager, before rising to London-based head of artist services.
In October 2016, he was promoted to the role of global head, where his responsibilities included "working with artists, managers and senior executives from across the entertainment industry to develop strategies and partnerships," according to Williamson's LinkedIn profile.
The exec also played a key role in the launch of Spotify's Manager Partner Program, which gives artist representatives early access to the streaming service's marketing tools, and worked closely with Spotify's Global head of creator services, Troy Carter, as part of the creator services team.
Williamson, who grew up in Mombasa, Kenya and featured in Billboard's 2016 '40 Under 40' list is yet to confirm his next job, although is reported to be staying in LA.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Spotify's London-based head of music culture, international shows and editorial George Ergatoudis has also left the company and is widely expected to be announced as Apple's U.K. head of music in the coming weeks. The position was advertised on Apple's website last month.
Ergatoudis joined Spotify in late 2015 as head of content programming for the U.K. Prior to joining the streaming service, he spent a decade as head of music at BBC Radio 1 – one of the most powerful positions in the U.K. music business that saw him oversee which acts the top 40 station would support and who it would shun.
Spotify would not comment on either departure other than to confirm that both Williamson and Ergatoudis had left the company. Apple did not respond to requests to comment.
Williamson and Ergatoudis' exits are the latest in a line of high-profile execs to leave Spotify in recent months. In April, global head of artist and label marketing Dave Rocco moved to Universal Music to take up the newly created position of executive vice president, creative.
Senior marketing exec Angela Watts and global programming head of hip-hop Tuma Basa have also left the streaming service this year, while Kevin Brown, Spotify's head of U.K. and international artist and label services, bowed out in December after five years with the company. Recent hires by Spotify include Tom Connaughton, who joined from Vevo to take up the role of head of artist and label marketing, reporting to Troy Carter.