Karen Lawson Joins Spotify as Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand


Karen Lawson is the new managing director of Spotify’s operations in Australia & New Zealand.

Based in Sydney, Lawson previously served as CEO of start-up accelerator Slingshot, a post she exited in July of last year.
Prior to that, she was chief of recruitment platform careerone.com.au and her CV includes eight years in various roles with Yahoo7, rising to GM of business developments and partnership in 2013.

Lawson is the third executive to lead Spotify in Australasia since the streaming service launched in these parts in 2012. Kate Vale, the founding managing director, left in June 2017 and was succeeded by Jane Huxley, the former head and founder of Pandora’s now-shuttered Australian affiliate.

Huxley left in February for a new role as Spotify’s managing director for EMEA (Europe / Middle East / Africa), based in London.

“I am thrilled to be joining Spotify as MD for Australia and New Zealand. It’s wonderful to be part of a business which is so loved by millions of people around the world,” Lawson tweeted.

With this new gig, Lawson will report into Spotify’s global head of markets, Cecilia Qvist.

Among her duties, Lawson will be expected to grow the A$24.9 million in revenue which Spotify Aus/NZ generated from ads on its “freemium” tier in 2018, up slightly from $24.3 million in 2017, according to the Australian Financial Review, based on documents lodged with the corporate regulator.

A spokesperson declined to comment on the new appointment, which is said to take effect from June 24.

In a world first, Spotify last year began testing its Active Media feature, which allowed millions of users of its free service in Australia to skip ads as a part targeted marketing initiative.