Spotify Looking For A COO, Still Hoping For U.S. Launch This Year

Music streaming service Spotify has retained executive search firm Odgers Berndtson to assist them in finding a chief operating officer as the number two executive after founder Daniel Ek. A number of candidates, particularly in Silicon Valley, have been contacted for the job.

Our first source on this story said that Spotify was actually looking for a new CEO to replace Ek. But Ek says this is inaccurate. “We’re looking for a COO to help run the company,” he said by phone this morning.

I also spoke with Ek about the story I wrote yesterday about acquisition attention from Google and Apple. Ek says Spotify has had absolutely no acquisition discussions with Apple at all, ever. “We don’t want to sell, we are here for the long term,” he said.

On the Google story he was less forthcoming, saying only that the story wasn’t correct in its entirety. “Google is a great partner,” he said.

I also asked Ek, since I had him on the phone, about Spotify’s U.S. launch plans. The company has been talking about a U.S. launch for well over a year, but it hasn’t happened yet. The complications appear to be over their very strong desire to offer a free version of the service here, as they do in Europe. Ek says that discussions with labels are ongoing, and that he still “hopes for a U.S. launch this year.”