SoundCloud named Eliah Seton as its new CEO, the company announced today (March 9). Seton, who has served as president of the company since 2021, replaces Michael Weissman, who is leaving the company “for a new opportunity,” according to a press release.
Simultaneously, the company announced that Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson has been named chairman of the board. Wilson, who has been on the board at SoundCloud since 2011, replaces company founder and former CEO Alexander Ljung, who will be taking a new role as chairman emeritus and remain a member of the board.
“As the only platform with direct relationships with artists and fans at scale, SoundCloud has a singular opportunity to forge the future of the music industry by unlocking the full power of fandom,” Seton said in a statement. “I am grateful to Mike for our partnership, to Fred and the board for their confidence and thrilled to work alongside our incredible leadership team to realize that vision.”
Seton joined SoundCloud from the Warner Music Group, where he spent a number of years first working for former WMG CEO Stephen Cooper, then as senior vp of strategy and operations for Warner International, before moving to ADA, eventually being named president of independent music and creator services for the major label. He moved to SoundCloud in 2021 during a shakeup of the company, during which Weissman moved into the CEO role and SoundCloud began an evolution from an indie-focused streaming service towards a hybrid organization that now offers label and artist services, as well as distribution, audience insights and a growing roster of artists and partnerships.
During that period, SoundCloud also rolled out a fan-powered royalties initiative, which switched up how independent creators got paid on the platform, and Seton led the deal that brought Warner Music artists into the fan-powered royalties fold. In August, the company laid off 20% of its global staff while it pursued a different strategy amid the advertising-affected market, though in December it announced its revenue grew 19% in 2021, according to financial statements published in Germany. In the past year, SoundCloud has inked joint ventures with Quality Control’s management wing Solid Foundation and Atlanta-based management and services company Third & Hayden, and partnered with artists such as Lil Pump, Tekno and Aly & AJ, among others.
Wilson replaces Ljung as chairman, who originally founded the company and was its CEO from 2007 to 2017, at which time Kerry Trainor took over as CEO and Weissman as COO. According to a press release, Ljung will “remain closely engaged and available to the company’s management team and employees going forward.”
“I have served on SoundCloud’s board for more than a decade and can honestly say that I have never been more excited about the direction and leadership of the company,” Wilson said in a statement. “Eliah’s passion for the business of music, relationships and vision are exactly what is needed for the next phase of SoundCloud’s growth. On behalf of the board, I want to thank Mike for his leadership, dedication and partnership over the past several years and welcome Eliah to this new role.”