Deezer, the global music streaming service based out of France and which claims 5 million paid subscribers has announced that its CEO Axel Dauchez will be exiting the company in September to “pursue a new professional opportunity.” Dauchez joined Deezer in 2010 and since that time has been the company’s public face.
To assist in the CEO transition, Deezer’s senior leadership team composed of co-founder Daniel Marhely, COO Christopher Coonen, board chairman Didier Bench and US CEO Tyler Goldman will lead the company.
A source with knowledge of the situation would only say that Dauchez is “leaving soon” and has “something lined-up”
In a statement, Marhely thanked Dauchez for his contributions, continuing: “We have grown our brand in France and throughout the world and will continue to pursue this growth with the management team.”
The move comes ahead of Deezer’s long-planned entrance into the U.S. streaming market, rumored since November of last year. Speaking to Billboard in February at Midem Dauchez indicated the U.S. would happen in 2014. “We are in discussion with many players and our ambition is to be in the U.S. this year,” he said. What’s the time frame? Between Q1 and Q4 [laughs]. The [U.S] market is still virgin. Nothing has really been done. The only ones who has really cracked the music subscription business is Sirius. Mass penetration is very low compared to all the money that has been invested, so the game is very open in the U.S.
Today’s announcement made mention of Deezer’s U.S. strategy without citing specifics: “Today, the challenge for Deezer is to take on the U.S market in the next phase of its development.
Deezer was founded in 2006 and, according to CrunchBase, has received some $149 million in funding, including $130 million in series D funding by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries which owns the Warner Music Group.
Earlier this month the company announced a bundling deal with Samsung, giving Galaxy S5 smartphone owners six months free on the service.
Deezer is currently available in 180 countries while Spotify is available in 56 and Rdio in 51.