The former chief of start-up accelerator Slingshot, Karen Lawson, has taken a seat in the big green chair as Managing Director of Spotify Australia & New Zealand.

Lawson replaces Jane Huxley, who left in February following her promotion to serve as Spotify’s Managing Director for EMEA (Europe / Middle East / Africa). Huxley’s new, expanded role sees her take on duties across 44 markets that make up Spotify’s EMEA footprint.

Jane Huxley from Spotify
Jane Huxley

Lawson will now report directly into Spotify’s Global Head of Markets, Cecilia Qvist.

Kicking off in the top role on June 24, Lawson will have a remit to grow the $24.9 million in revenue which Spotify ANZ made from ads on its free tier in calendar 2018.

Tweeting the news, Lawson said: “It’s wonderful to be part of a business which is so loved by millions of people around the world.”

In an interview with MitchelLake back in 2016, Lawson said that one of the misconceptions she sees when people are trying to innovate is that they “they fall in love with the solution they have created, not the problem.”

“Life is too short to build a product that no one wants,” she said. “You need to not only find the problem but understand if people are motivated to change their behaviour. There are problems everywhere but unless you have proven this point, you will still not have a business. So validation is key.”

Spotify launched in Australia in May 2012 under then-chief Kate Vale. The company has tested some world-firsts in these parts, including its ad-skipping Active Media product, which rolled out in 2018.

ComScore data included in a corporate update last November shows Spotify reached 8 million monthly unique users in Australia, which means roughly 47% of the country’s smartphone users are on the platform.