eMusic has announced that President and CEO David Pakman will depart the company. Pakman will become a partner at an unnamed venture capital firm and eMusic has retained the Barlow Group, a Connecticut-based executive search firm to recruit a replacement.
Pakman will remain through the end of 2008 and remain a member of eMusic's advisory team serving on the company's Board. He joined eMusic as Chief Operating Officer in 2004 and was elevated to CEO in August 2005.
Some including Hypebot have been critical of Pakman and eMusic for a business model that pays less than 40 cents per track to labels and gives away thousands of free downloads without accounting for them. But Packman has been a aggressive and often effective advocate for his company and as such may be hard to replace.
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:
"I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the past five years," said Pakman. "eMusic has one of the best operating teams in digital entertainment, has grown into a sophisticated direct marketing enterprise, and is a company with a proven business model. Our subscriber base now tops 400,000 -- more than six times where we started, and we've increased revenue tenfold. Our success has outlasted many other players in the space, and we're now the only remaining stand-alone digital entertainment retailer."
"David has been instrumental in transforming eMusic from a niche music business to a global direct marketing platform capable of delivering any form of downloadable digital media," said Danny Stein, Chairman of eMusic and President of JDS Capital Management. "While we're proud of David's success and the great team that survives him, we look forward to working with a new CEO who will take the company from $70 million of revenue to several hundred million of revenue."