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Spotify VP Max Cutler to Exit Company as Podcast Operations Reorganize.

One of Spotify’s top podcast executives is departing the company. Max Cutler, a four-year Spotify veteran who most recently served as VP, head of Talk Creator Content and Partnerships, will reportedly “return to his entrepreneurial roots” and form a start-up venture.

Cutler joined the company in 2019 when it acquired Parcast, the scripted podcast studio he co-founded. Cutler is staying until May 1.

Cutler had overseen Spotify’s exclusive licensed podcast deals with partners including Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper (“Call Her Daddy”) and Emma Chamberlain. Julie McNamara, who is Spotify’s head of global podcast studios, is assuming leadership of those exclusives.

McNamara reports to Sahar Elhabashi, head of Spotify’s podcast business, who in turn reports to co-president Alex Norström. The changes come after the exit of Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer — previously the head of Spotify’s podcast business — as part of a senior management shakeup last month.

Meanwhile, Bill Simmons, founder of The Ringer (which was purchased by Spotify in 2020), will now report to Elhabashi. Simmons will continue to lead The Ringer, in addition to developing and growing podcast monetization.

And Bryan Thoensen, who joined Spotify last fall as Senior Director and Head Of Content Partnerships and Community, will continue to oversee content partnerships for third-party creators.

Spotify said there are no layoffs connected to the latest management changes. In January, Spotify announced that it was cutting 6% of its workforce, laying off about 600 employees.

According to CEO Daniel Ek, the changes are meant to speed up decision-making and allow management to view operations “holistically.” Ek said the changes are not indicative of a change in strategy.

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