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Power Players

No. 60
Sean Parker

Executive General Partner
Founders Fund
Twitter: @sparker

The man partially responsible for breaking the music industry just might end up saving it. In popular culture, Sean Parker is best-known as the entrepreneur-turned-Facebook founding president portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the film "The Social Network." In the music world, Parker is known as the co-founder of Napster, the file-sharing service that begat the record industry's transformation. Yet history may well see Parker as the person who united Spotify and Facebook. Without Parker, Spotify wouldn't have been able to unlock its social potential. It was Parker who introduced Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (see No. 29) to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Ek tells Billboard. That meeting set off a personal and business relationship that would culminate with Spotify taking center stage at Facebook's f8 conference last September. Like all great entrepreneurs, Parker looks for solutions to problems. In Spotify, Ek says, Parker saw a product that could help solve the record industry's problems. Parker has invested in the rising subscription service through Founders Fund, the venture capital firm where he is executive general partner. Now he and Ek actively talk to labels and artists about Spotify's potential to reclaim music's lost generation.

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