Tidal Hires New CEO: Is The Fourth Time a Charm?

08/08/2017 byDawn Chmielewski

Richard Sanders, a long-time Sony Music exec and former president of Kobalt is the streaming platform's new chief executive.

Tidal has chosen a seasoned music industry executive with a breadth of experience and deep industry connections as its new chief executive.

Richard Sanders, a long-time Sony Music executive and former president of Kobalt Music Group, has been named as the fourth CEO to head the streaming music service, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Variety was the first to report the hire.

Sanders takes over Tidal as it seeks to compete more vigorously with established, larger rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music.

Insiders say the company is strengthened by the $200 million cash infusion from Sprint. The mobile carrier acquired a 33 percent stake in the music service and exclusive early access to popular music like Jay-Z’s chart-topping album 4:44.

Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure, who joined Tidal’s board with the investment, was involved in the leadership selection, Variety reported.

Sanders career spans more than 30 years and in addition to heading Sony's International efforts, he was president of global marketing for the company, overseeing Sony's 43 operating units outside the U.S. Prior to his positions at Sony Music Entertainment, he held executive positions at RCA, V2 and Arista Records.

Tidal's last chief executive Jeff Toig, who came from SoundCloud, departed the company this past May. He replaced interim CEO Peter Tonstad, who took over for Tidal's original exec Andy Chen.

Jay Z bought the Swedish ­technology company Aspiro and its WiMP ­streaming service, renamed Tidal, in early 2015 for $56 ­million. A splashy launch, featuring star power from the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West, Daft Punk and Nicki Minaj, followed soon after.

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