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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

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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