Spotify’s European sales boss Marco Bertozzi exits after four years

Spotify’s Vice President, EMEA Sales & Multi-market Global Sales, Marco Bertozzi, is leaving the company.

In a LinkedIn post published today (January 25), Bertozzi – who headed up Spotify’s sales force in Europe and other territories for the past four years – revealed that he was exiting the streaming platform this week.

“I have achieved what I set out to do and it’s now a good time to think about the future AND take a Zoom break,” reads Bertozzi’s announcement.

Europe is Spotify’s largest territory as a business, housing 34% of the 320 million monthly active users the company saw globally at the close of Q3 2020.

With a background in programmatic advertising, Bertozzi joined Spotify in Q1 2017 from his previous role as Global Chief Revenue Officer at Publicis Groupe’s Performics division.

Bertozzi’s appointment at Spotify’s followed the departure of Spotify’s former VP of Sales for EMEA, British executive Jonathan Forster.

Another high-profile Spotify advertising executive, Brian Benedik, left his role as the company’s Global Head of Advertising in September 2019 after six years with the music streaming service.

Spotify hired ex-BuzzFeed Chief Revenue Officer Lee Brown to replace Benedik, in the role of VP of Global Sales Strategy. The plan at the time was for Brown to report to Spotify’s then-Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy, but then McCarthy also left the company in January 2020.

Bertozzi’s sudden departure comes shortly after Spotify’s rollout of podcast ads in Germany and the UK last week.

It also comes just three months after the news that SPOT would be buying podcast ad platform Megaphone for a reported $235 million, bringing its total podcast acquisition spend to over $800m in the past two years.

According to a Spotify investor update issued in October, across the nine months ended September 30, 2020, SPOT’s ad-Supported revenue comprised 8% of its total revenue.

That represented a decline of 1% compared to the same nine-month period in 2019, when the company’s ad-supported revenue accounted for 9% of its total revenue.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, SPOT generated $464 million in advertising revenue, a €3m, or 1% increase year over year.

SPOT claimed that “this increase was due primarily to an increase in revenue from our self-serve channel and podcasts”.

Added Spotify: “These increases were partially offset by a decrease in revenue from our direct channel, driven by a decrease in the average rate per impression as a result of reduced advertising demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Said Bertozzi of his departure: “I am leaving Spotify this week. I have achieved what I set out to do and it’s now a good time to think about the future AND take a Zoom break.

“I have had an amazing four years at Spotify, but now it is time for something new. I was hired by Spotify to put us on the map in the media industry both in the UK and across the EMEA region. We have been on a journey to up-level the team and service to where we are today.”

“I am leaving Spotify this week. I have achieved what I set out to do and it’s now a good time to think about the future AND take a Zoom break.”

Marco Bertozzi

Added Bertozzi: “I feel very good about having achieved that goal and I am so excited for the hires in place today. I was never happier to be part of Media Week Sales Team of The Year award win last year. That felt like a real proverbial bow on the last four years.

“As I said, after a break from Zoom for a while, top of the agenda is looking for my next role. No one is done with me yet (all around groans)! I may dip my toe in the mythical land of consultancy as well! I would love to talk to any of you about what those possibilities could be.

“I have had a blast, but as I always tell my mentees, embrace change and that’s exactly what I intend to do when I look for my next opportunity! Thank you all for your support, my friends, colleagues, customers, partners and mentors and to the wonderful TeamEMEA at Spotify. I wish you all the best and will support you always.”Music Business Worldwide

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