Two more executives leave Tidal
Tidal's CFO and COO depart the music streaming service.
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Almost a year has gone since Jay Z’s Roc Nation formally took control over the music streaming service Tidal (formerly known as Wimp) through the company Project Panter Bidco.
Sources close to Tidal say that shortly following the takeover more and more decisions were made from New York, while the Norwegian directors have been less «in the loop».
Just a few weeks after the Tidal launch, the company CEO, Andy Chen, was removed from his position. Tidal’s commercial director, Peter Tonstad, was announced as the CEO.
A mass exodus of Tidal executives then followed:
- The whole board was removed April 20 in last year.
- Marketing director Are Thu left in May, with the explanation being that sales and market resources were to be centralized in New York and Oslo.
- Product director Ervin Draganovic was told to leave the company at the same time.
- The new CEO, Peter Tonstad, left the company in July.
- Roc Nation executive Zena Burns, who was involved at Tidal, left during the summer.
In November it was reported that Vania Schlogel, Tidal’s chief investment officer, who brought the idea of buying the streaming service to Jay Z, had been out of the company since july.
Dagens Næringsliv can now report that also Tidal’s chief financial officer, Chris Hart, and it’s chief operating officer, Nils Juell, has been removed from their positions.
- I’m on winter holiday and have no comment, says Juell.
Dagens Næringsliv has not been able to reach Hart for a comment.
Update tuesday afternoon: A spokesperson for Roc Nation confirms both departures in an email: "TIDAL has terminated CFO Chris Hart and COO Nils Juell. As TIDAL has grown into a global operation serving 46 countries we have moved our accounting and operations team to New York while our technology team and key support staff remain in Oslo".
Few executives left in Oslo
With Juell leaving, Rune Lending, Tidal’s chief technology officer, is the only remaining employee from the original executives in Norway.
The company’s chief subscription officer, Antoine Thebault, is also working from Oslo.
Adding to that, DN has also learned that a number of people in the Oslo office has left the company.
Two of the positions that removed from Oslo last year, are on the verge of being recreated in the US. DN has not been able to get an answer on the future of the CFO position or the two remaining executives in Norway.
In dispute with record companies
As a parallel to the turbulence after the takeover, there is also disagreement between Tidal and a number of record companies and managers. The conflict is, among other things, about royalty payments.
Recently, US magazine Complex reported that Tidal is being sued by Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele in the band American Dollar. The claim is five million dollars in missing royalty payments.
Tidal has denied the claim, and issued a press release stating that « TIDAL is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them».
However, DN has learned that more record companies has gone periods of time without payments, and that the payments that have been delayed.