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Spotify has added Nike exec Heidi O’Neill to its board

The streaming company is preparing to go public soon.

Nike Direct President Heidi O’Neill sits in a red chair on stage at Recode’s Code Commerce 2017 conference in New York City. Keith MacDonald
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Spotify has added a new board member as it prepares to go public: Nike executive Heidi O’Neill.

O’Neill runs Nike’s “direct” business, which means she’s in charge of its $9 billion retail, digital and e-commerce units. She’s been at the company for seven years, and previously ran marketing for Levi Strauss.

In the past, I might have written that Spotify sorely needed advice from someone who really understood brand marketing, because the streaming service hadn’t really broken through to the mainstream.

That’s not true anymore: Spotify is now a $3 billion-plus business, with at least 60 million paying subscribers worldwide, and many more listening for free.

Spotify says O’Neill isn’t replacing anyone on its board, which includes other bold-faced names like Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos, former Disney COO Tom Staggs and former Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior.

The company is ramping up for a novel “direct listing” — where it would sell its shares to the public without using Wall Street banks as a go-between later this year or early in 2018.

As it happens, O’Neill was onstage at Recode’s Code Commerce event last month. Here’s her interview with my colleague Jason Del Rey:

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