Napster prexy, COO ankles

Duea to replace exiting Bebel

Napster may be back, but it’s top exec is already gone.

Mike Bebel, who became Napster’s president and chief operating officer after Roxio acquired digital music company PressPlay last May, has ankled just three months after the service launched.

He’s being replaced as prexy by Brad Duea, currently head of world business development for the company. Duea will take over immediately, reporting to Roxio CEO Chris Gorog.

Taking over as COO is Laura Goldberg, previously Napster’s senior VP of operations.

As part of the realignment, Roxio is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles. Company had been based in Santa Clara, with Napster execs located in New York.

“We believe Napster will be a very significant contributor to Roxio’s future, and headquartering the company in the center of the entertainment industry should prove advantageous,” Gorog said in a statement.

Roxio will maintain its digital media software staff in Santa Clara.

Company did not give any reasons for the sudden departure of Bebel, who was previously CEO of PressPlay and was a senior technology exec at Universal Music. After spending $5 million to acquire the Napster name and $39.5 million on the PressPlay technology underpinning the new legal service, however, Roxio has seen its investment overshadowed by the so-far higher profile and more successful iTunes Music Store from Apple.

Napster has been generating a quarterly revenue of about $5 million since its debut.

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