Spotify Officially Names New CFO Following Paul Vogel Departure — Shares Hit Another 52-Week High

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spotify cfo
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Spotify has officially named its new CFO. Photo Credit: Eyestetix Studio

Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has officially named its new chief financial officer, Saab exec Christian Luiga, following the exit of Paul Vogel.

The Stockholm-based business formally revealed the appointment of Christian Luiga yesterday, when its shares hit a 52-week high of $304 apiece. (Today’s trading delivered another five percent gain for SPOT, which touched a fresh 52-week high of $313.07 and finished at $310.31.) Furthermore, this stock-price resurgence arrived on the heels of reports that Spotify will increase its prices in several markets by April’s end.

Notwithstanding the ongoing SPOT rally and the price-bump reports that seem to be behind it, Spotify first disclosed the expected March 31st departure of Vogel in December of 2023. The former Barclays managing director had signed on with Spotify in June of 2016 and began as CFO in early 2020.

During his roughly four-year tenure in the latter post, Spotify embarked on an aggressive expansion into non-music audio – including but not limited to podcasts, audiobooks, live programming, and even games.

But the business has tightened the belt (seemingly in earnest) and prioritized profitability as of late, and CEO Daniel Ek indicated four months ago that “Spotify is entering a new phase and needs a CFO with a different mix of experiences.”

That CFO is the initially mentioned Christian Luiga, whose “different mix of experiences” includes nearly four years as an exec (CFO and deputy CEO) at Swedish defense and security company Saab.

As we highlighted yesterday, Saab is an investor in and partner of Ek-backed AI defense operation Helsing. In November of 2021, Ek dropped (via his Prima Materia investment firm) €100 million in Helsing, where he’s co-chairman.

Then, as described by Helsing itself, June of 2023 saw the German government select it and Saab “to provide the new AI-enabled electronic warfare capabilities for the upcoming update of the Eurofighter.”

Helsing in September of last year announced a €209 million Series B that drew support from Saab, and late last month, Saab provided an update on its (and Helsing’s) contract with Berlin.

Returning the focus to the music space, the brass-tacks takeaway is that Ek and incoming Spotify CFO Luiga aren’t without existing ties. Moreover, the Stockholm University graduate Luiga is Swedish; with Vogel’s departure, a clear-cut majority of Spotify’s senior management, including Ek, chief HR officer Katarina Berg, CBO Alex Norström, and CTO Gustav Söderström hail from the Scandinavian nation.

Luiga is expected to start as Spotify CFO sometime during this year’s third quarter, the company indicated, noting also that VP of financial planning and analysis Ben Kung will serve as interim CFO until then. However, per a separate release from Saab, Luiga “will stay with Saab until latest 3 October in order to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.”