Jay Z’s Tidal is in the midst of another executive change: Jeff Toig, who became the streaming service’s CEO 18 months ago, has left the company, Tidal confirmed on Friday. “As part of Tidal’s continued expansion this year we will be announcing a new CEO in the coming weeks,” the company said in a statement. “We wish former CEO, Jeffrey Toig, all the best in his future endeavors.”
Billboard was first to report the news on Friday, noting that Toig had left the company in March.
Toig’s departure is just the latest shakeup in a number of leadership changes since Jay Z acquired and then launched the service in early 2015. Toig had joined the company in December of 2015 as Tidal’s third CEO in just 8 months; the streaming music veteran came to Tidal from SoundCloud, and had previously built Muve Music, which was first to bundle a music service with a mobile phone plan.
Ironically, Toig is leaving at a time when Tidal is also looking to bank on mobile music. Mobile phone service operator Sprint acquired a 33% stake in Tidal in January worth a reported $200 million.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure joined Tidal’s board as part of the acquisition, and a source close to the company told Variety that Claure, as well as Jay Z and longtime confidant Desiree Perez, have been closely involved in the management of Tidal during the leadership transition.
Little is known about Sprint’s exact plans for Tidal, but it’s safe to assume that the leadership change is part of an attempt to reposition the company and closely tie it to the mobile operator. Tidal previously tried to compete with Apple Music and Spotify by banking on exclusive releases, but that alone didn’t seem enough to catch up with the two industry leaders.
Spotify announced in March that it has surpassed 50 million paying subscribers. Apple Music hit 20 million paying subscribers in December, and the company may announce a new milestone at its WWDC conference in June. Tidal claimed to have 3 million paying subscribers a year ago, but recent reports suggested that only about one million of them may have stuck around.