It was quite a shock a few weeks ago when Deezer, currently ramping up for a delayed US launch, announced that CEO Axel Dauchez, who has been in this role since co-founder Jonathan Benassaya left at the end of 2010, would be leaving the company in September.
It seemed quite clear that Dauchez had his next gig lined up, and, in an interview with LeFigaro this week, Dauchez announced that he will become President of Publicis France.
While the jump doesn’t bode well for Deezer, Dauchez couldn’t move to Publicis at a better time. After announcing that the Publicis-Omnicom merger wouldn’t be happening due to an inability to merge management, Publicis also announced this week a $500 Million contract with Facebook, as reported on AdAge.
Meanwhile, Deezer’s search for a remplacement CEO (the transition is currently being managed by co-founder and Head of Product Daniel Marhely, along with other members of the executive team) is certainly already underway, though no word on potential candidates has come out yet.
At Deezer, Dauchez was responsible for expanding the company from a largely French company to a a service operating in nearly every market (but the US); however, the delayed US launch (Deezer has been looking for a partner, rumored to be Microsoft, as well as Samsung) is certainly taking its toll on Deezer’s reputation within the startup community, though user numbers continue to grow.
Image via LeFigaro