It’s been a big month for SoundCloud, with MBW breaking the news last week that the once-beleaguered platform just posted the first profitable quarter in its history.
Now, the executive who steered SoundCloud to that milestone as CEO, Kerry Trainor, has announced he is stepping down from the role starting January 1, 2021.
Succeeding Trainor as SoundCloud CEO will be the firm’s current President, Mike Weissman.
Trainor will remain on SoundCloud’s Board of Directors subsequent to his departure.
In an internal note sent today (December 1) and obtained by MBW, Trainor told his staff that “leading this platform and incredible global team through these transformational years has been an immense privilege”.
Trainor took over as CEO of SoundCloud as part of a $170m investment in the company in 2017, led by Raine Group and Temasek.
Fast forward three years, and SoundCloud just posted 2019 revenues of €147.6m ($165.7m), up 37% year-over-year, with annual operating losses narrowing 28% to €23.8m ($26.7m).
As we stand today, SoundCloud – which calls itself “the world’s largest open audio platform – boasts a catalog of over 250 million tracks, with 12 million creators heard on the platform every month.
Alongside Trainor, that $170m investment in 2017 ushered in the arrival of Weissman at SoundCloud as COO. Weissman was subsequently promoted to President of the company in June 2019.
In a press release issued today, Weissman said: “I’m honored to lead SoundCloud’s next chapter. 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.
“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.”
“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.”
Mike Weissman, SoundCloud
Weissman has been instrumental in expanding SoundCloud as the principal architect of some of the company’s key strategic initiatives including its music licensing efforts, its US ad sales partnership with Pandora, and the acquisition and integration of artist services company, Repost Network.
SoundCloud’s future expansion under Weissman will partly be fuelled by a $75m investment in the company that arrived from SiriusXM in Q1 this year.
Kerry Trainor said today: “When I first organized the group to invest in SoundCloud in 2017, the mission was to ensure the future of one of the world’s iconic cultural platforms–for creators, listeners, the team and investors alike. 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.”
“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.”
Kerry Trainor, SoundCloud
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.”
Fred Davis, Partner, The Raine Group, and a member of the SoundCloud Board of Directors, said: “SoundCloud is a unique, essential music platform for new and developing artists, and since Raine and Temasek’s 2017 reinvestment backing Kerry and Mike, they put that differentiation front and center–with results that speak for themselves.
“Kerry’s leadership has positioned SoundCloud for years of growth to come, and we all look forward with excitement as Mike steps up to drive the company’s next stage. Congratulations, Mike, and thank you, Kerry, as we continue our partnership to build the future of SoundCloud.”
And Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM, and a member of the SoundCloud Board of Directors, added: “SoundCloud’s vital role in music discovery and exceptional tools for audio creators stand out in the digital audio space. As investors, we thank Kerry for his leadership and for SoundCloud’s partnership with SiriusXM, and congratulate Mike as he takes on the role of CEO for SoundCloud’s next chapter of growth.”Music Business Worldwide