In Wake of Purchase by Beats Electronics, MOG CEO David Hyman Steps Down

9:00 AM PST 11/23/2012 by Billboard Staff, Karen Mizoguchi

"It's been a long great journey," wrote the digital music service's founder on Tuesday. "But like Sting said, 'If you love something, set it free.' ... I'm looking forward to my first real break since 1994."

In a surprise move, Mog founder David Hyman stepped down as CEO of the company on Nov. 20, just months after selling it to Beats Electronics.

In a statement issued by Beats, Hyman announced: “Through the transition following the acquisition of MOG by Beats Electronics, I’ve determined it is the right time to pursue new challenges and opportunities. My decision to depart is one mutually agreed upon by the Beats executive team; MOG’s integration into the Beats team and culture is complete. I leave this role excited about the continued success of the company and I’m ready to pass the baton to this talented team. As I move on to the next chapter of my career, my commitment to music and making it more important in people’s lives remains the same; I look forward to seeing where my creative visions take me next."

Hyman's exit is effective immediately, but he is expected to "continue working closely with the company as a strategic advisor," said a rep for the company.

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The sale of Mog to Beats, which was first reported in March and closed early in July, brought Beats a missing link in its business chain. "We've since expanded the Beats mission to every other link in the music experience chain - speakers, mobile phones, personal computers and automobile sound systems," Beats COO Luke Wood said in a statement announcing the deal. "With Mog, we are adding the best music service to the Beats portfolio for the first truly end-to-end music experience. With their talent and technology, the possibilities around future innovation are endless."

Mog has long ranked far behind subscription leaders Rhapsody, Spotify and Muve Music. The last public figure Mog gave was 160,000 average monthly users, a number that includes both paying subscribers and users of its free on-demand service. It launched in December 2009 as a paid subscription service and introduced free on-demand listening in September 2011. In recent months, Mog has taken the usual tactic of offering two free months of premium access to users who upgrade from the free offering.

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Mog originally launched as a network of music blogs that were tied together by an advertising network. That advertising network was kept separate of the music service and was sold to Townsend Media Group in August.

After the sale, Hyman was to stay on as CEO while reporting directly to Wood.

Late Tuesday, Hyman posted on Facebook, "MOG... my child, it's been a long great journey. But like Sting said, 'If you love something, set it free.' You're in good hands at Beats. I'm looking forward to my first real break since 1994. Nepal? Kauai? Taking a year off. Do not disturb."

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