More eMusic: Pakman Insists, ‘I Was Not Pushed’

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So, what really happened at eMusic late last year?

In mid-July of 2008, then-CEO David Pakman was sharing the first stages of an ambitious, 2.0-style overhaul.  “We asked what a retailer online would look like in 2010 or 2011,” company chief executive David Pakman told Digital Music News at the time, while discussing “a complete redo of the site” that would require a series of updates.

Sounded ambitious, though less than three months later, Pakman was suddenly departing.  A replacement CEO was not announced, and Pakman transitioned towards a new gig at Venrock.  “While we’re proud of David’s success and the great team that survives him, we look forward to working with a new CEO who will take the company from $70 million of revenue to several hundred million of revenue,” stated Danny Stein, chairman of eMusic and president of owner JDS Capital Management, in a company press release.  More than a year later, Stein remains CEO (and president) of eMusic.

After the exit, sources pointed Digital Music News to a push, and a marked post-Pakman shift in strategy reaffirmed the information.  But reacting to that very description in a pre-Christmas article on Digital Music News, Pakman insists that the departure was entirely amicable and based on a desire for change.  Earlier, Stein offered a similar explanation.  “I was not ‘pushed in late 2008,'” Pakman emailed early Christmas morning, quoting the post.  “After being COO and CEO of eMusic for five years, and growing the business by more than 850 percent from a modest single-digit millions in revenue to more than $68M, I elected to move on.”