Executive Turntable

Spotify's Longtime Global Head of Country John Marks Exits

John Marks, Lil Nas X
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for Spotify

(L-R) Global Head of Country Music at Spotify, John Marks and Lil Nas X visits the Spotify House during CMA Fest at Ole Red on June 06, 2019 in Nashville.

John Marks, Spotify’s global head of country, is leaving the company effective immediately.

Marks, who many in the industry viewed as the leading face of Spotify’s country platform, oversaw more than 40 country playlists on Spotify, including Hot Country, one of the most popular genre playlists on the streaming service.

“It has been a privilege to work at Spotify since the beginning of its Nashville journey,” said Marks in a statement.  “But I am also excited about what adventures lie ahead.  I want to thank [Spotify co-head of music] Jeremy Erlich, [head of editorial, Nashville] Rachel Whitney, our editorial team and the entire Spotify crew for the work that we have accomplished both in the United States and internationally.”

The radio veteran joined Spotify in November 2015, coming over from SiriusXM, where he had been senior director of country programming. He was one of Spotify’s first genre-specific programmers.

“When John Marks joined Spotify, he brought a wealth of knowledge and passion for the country genre — and has been an incredible asset to the Nashville team,” said Erlich. “John will be truly missed and we wish him well.”

In 2018, the Country Music Association honored Marks for his work in advocating for country music outside of the United States.

Whitney, who joined Spotify from Youtube in February 2020, as head of editorial for Nashville, will continue to oversee the platform's country, Christian, gospel, folk, Americana and roots coverage.

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