Business

SoundCloud Names Michael Weissman to Succeed Kerry Trainor as CEO

Michael Weissman
Courtesy of SoundCloud

Michael Weissman

SoundCloud has announced a major change at the top, with company president Michael Weissman succeeding Kerry Trainor as CEO beginning Jan. 1. Trainor will retain a seat on the board of directors.

Weissman and Trainor joined SoundCloud as a duo in August 2017 after several years working together at Vimeo, where they were COO and CEO, respectively. Their arrival coincided with a $170 million investment from global merchant bank The Raine Group and Singapore-based Temasek Holdings that kickstarted a resurgence for the streaming audio platform — it recently crossed over into profitability and is poised to complete its third consecutive year of accelerating revenue growth.

"The company is in one of its most exciting moments in its history, and I’m thrilled to work alongside SoundCloud's team and Board to lean into our unique position and opportunity in music," said Weissman. "Kerry and I have worked together for nearly a decade, and I want to thank him for his vision and leadership to reposition SoundCloud for growth and, personally, for his partnership, friendship, and support for me to take the helm."

Trainor shared the news of his departure in a note to staff Tuesday morning, calling it a "difficult decision because I wear my passion for SoundCloud, our team and our place in music culture on every one of my navy blue sleeves, if not written on my forehead."

He added that "leading this platform and incredible global team through these transformational years has been an immense privilege."

Annie Tritt
Kerry Trainor photographed on Jan. 22, 2020 at SoundCloud in New York.

In addition to improved financials, the Trainor/Weissman era has also seen SoundCloud’s open audio platform grow to over 250 million tracks, with over 80,000 artists monetizing their work directly through the service globally. According to a press release announcing the leadership change, Weissman has played key roles in music licensing deals, a U.S. ad sales pact with Pandora, and the acquisition of artist service Repost Network.

Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud founder and chairman of the board of directors, said: "It's been over 13 years since we founded SoundCloud and Kerry and Mike’s leadership has been transformative in many ways. SoundCloud has always been one of the world’s most important cultural platforms, but the last three years have shown that it is also a fantastic business. I am excited to watch Mike lead SoundCloud’s next chapter and I am thrilled Kerry will remain engaged as a member of our board."

Trainor added in a statement, "There is only one SoundCloud in this world, which we owe to the vision of our Founders, Alex and Eric. Leading this platform and incredible global team through these transformational years has been an immense privilege. It is a great joy to name--and confirm with the SoundCloud Board--my partner and friend, Mike Weissman, as my successor. I look forward to continuing to work with Mike and the team as a member of the Board."

In his memo to staff, Trainor wrote that he looks forward to spending time with family before exploring new projects. "While there is always much more work to be done, together we achieved what so many doubted -- we safeguarded SoundCloud’s future and cultural mission to empower people to connect through music," he wrote.