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Tidal Gets (Another) New CEO in Former Kobalt Exec Richard Sanders

Former Kobalt Music Group president Richard Sanders is the new CEO of Tidal, the Jay-Z-owned music streaming service launched in 2015, sources confirm to Variety.

He is the fourth person to take the CEO title at Tidal in just over two years.

Jeff Toig left the company in March after a year and following a short-lived stint at Soundcloud, another embattled digital music service. Sanders left Kobalt in May, after five years at the company. Prior to that, he was president of global marketing for Sony Music and had also held executive posts at labels RCA and Arista Records.

In January, 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.

Tidal has seen its share of troubles recently, including allegations by Kanye West that he is owed money from the company for marketing efforts, including video production, as well as a bonus for subscriber thresholds met as was agreed upon ahead of the release of West’s February 2016 album, “The Life of Pablo.” (The service saw a reported 1.5 million-subscriber bump in the wake of the “Pablo” release.)

More recently, Jay-Z’s own album, “4:44,” stirred controversy of its own both for its lyrical content and the fact that the rapper was photographed with a plaque certifying that the album had gone “platinum,” which was taken before it was released.

 

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