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No Salary, No Problem for Spotify’s Daniel Ek With $178 Million in Sales

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 1, 2024
No Salary, No Problem for Spotify’s Daniel Ek With $178 Million in Sales

No Salary, No Problem for Spotify’s Daniel Ek With $178 Million in Sales

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and other top executives at the company have been capitalizing on the surging share price of the streaming giant, resulting in substantial financial gains for them this year.

According to reports from SEC filings analyzed by Fortune, Ek and five other senior members of Spotify’s management have collectively sold $254.4 million in company shares since January 2024. This marks a significant increase from the previous year, where the top executives cashed in only $6.3 million worth of shares.

Daniel Ek, who has not taken a salary since 2017, offloaded $178 million of his holdings just this year. The large transactions included a $118.9 million sale following Spotify’s Q2 results and a $59.9 million sale in February. During a year when Ek did not sell any shares, he reportedly received $1.4 million in other forms of compensation, despite being among the lowest-paid major tech CEOs last year.

Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief People Officer, has also made significant gains, selling $40.7 million worth of shares. Alex Norstrom, the Chief Business Officer, sold shares worth $12 million, while Dustee Jenkins, the Chief Public Affairs Officer, and Katrina Berg, the Chief Human Resources Officer, cashed in $343,000 and $7.7 million, respectively. Paul Vogel, the former CFO who left the company after a massive layoff round, sold $14 million in shares.

Spotify has been experiencing a remarkable start to 2024, with its shares increasing over 60% since the beginning of the year, which has added more than $20 billion to its market valuation. This surge is attributed to various strategic moves by the company, including price hikes for subscriptions, new member additions, and a revamp of its costly podcast division to improve profitability.

The company, however, has faced challenges along the way. Spotify laid off 1,500 employees in December as part of an efficiency drive, which CEO Ek described as cutting down on “work around the work.” These layoffs, which accounted for 17% of Spotify’s workforce, have had more of an impact on daily operations than anticipated, affecting the company’s ability to meet some of its ambitious targets for monthly active users and quarterly profits.

A spokesperson for Spotify commented on the share sales by stating, “As part of his long-term financial planning, Daniel Ek has sold some of his Spotify shares. These sales account for a limited amount of Mr. Ek’s holdings in the company.”

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Featured Image courtesy of Kimberly White/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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