Dawn Ostroff, the former Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer at Spotify, will receive nine months’ worth of her $1 million per year salary as part of her exit package from the company. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Spotify also says Ostroff will have early vesting of various stock- and cash-based incentive awards as part of a separation agreement. She made $7.5 million in 2022 according to the filing.
Ostroff exited Spotify Jan. 31 as part of a management restructuring and staff cuts that will trim the company’s workforce by six percent. The company had said that employees would receive severance totaling about five months of pay. The audio company will also continue to cover healthcare for employees during their severance period as well as pay out any unused vacation time. All employees will be eligible for outplacement services for two months. As part of the layoffs, Spotify said it expects to incur between $38 million and $48 million in severance-related expenses.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek takes the smallest salary of management – since 2017 he has not taken a salary, opting instead to mainly be paid in stock options. Ek was paid $182,000 last year – but that was to cover his Swedish home security costs. The SEC filing says Ek owns more than 31 million shares or 16% of the company.
Gustav Söderström, who rose from Chief Research & Development Officer to co-President, Chief Product & Technology Officer during last month’s shuffle, was the top-paid executive at Spotify last year, earning $14.2 million. The SEC filing says Alex Norström, the former Chief Freemium Business Officer and now co-President, Chief Business Officer overseeing content and advertising, earned $9.2 million. CFO Paul Vogel made $6.8 million.
Norström takes on the responsibility for the content, advertising and licensing work going forward, according to Ek.
How Much Spotify Spent On Deals Revealed
The filing also finally reveals to investors how much Spotify paid for the text-to-speech company Sonantic, which leverages Artificial Intelligence to create lifelike voices from the written word. When the deal was announced last June no price was disclosed. Spotify now says it paid $100 million (€93 million) for the company. “This acquisition allows us to expand text-to-speech capabilities across our platform,” it says.
The filing also reveals that Spotify paid $125 million (€117 million) to buy the audiobook company Findaway last July. It then launched what it calls a “first iteration catalog” of audiobooks on Spotify in the U.S. in September, expanding it to the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. “This new format will help expand our user base into a new category of potential listeners and connect diverse creators to new and existing fans,” the company tells shareholders.
Spotify also continues to own a stake in the Chinese music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group. It says it is currently worth about $1.2 billion.