Paul Vogel, Beta Pi ’92, Featured in The Pennsylvania Gazette
The leading article in the Alumni section of the November/December 2020 issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette, titled “King of Audio”, features Paul Vogel, Beta Pi ’92, C ’95. Brother Vogel is presently CFO of Spotify, a music streaming company.
Following in the footsteps of his brother, Neil Vogel, Beta Pi ’89, Paul went to Penn and was initiated into the brotherhood of Pi Kappa Alpha. Neil is CEO of internet giant Dotdash. After graduation, Paul was hired by Morgan Stanley’s equity research team. Specializing on the internet and media, he worked on the Netscape IPO. This led to employment by the investment fund SVPGlobal. His experience on the Netscape IPO, and the enormous size of SVPGlobal’s investments, afforded brother Vogel the opportunity to meet many top media CEOs, including Walt Disney’s Bob Iger. In 2013, he left SVPGlobal and eventually landed at Spotify in 2016.
In consideration of his prior experience, Spotify chose him to be the company’s head of treasury and customer relations. In this capacity, brother Vogel focused on the proposed Spotify IPO and dealt with Spotify’s expenditures following the influx of money from its IPO.
Spotify is in competition with larger rivals such as Apple and Amazon music. It was necessary to devise a strategy that would allow Spotify to create its own music content. Towards that end, Spotify has acquired various podcast studios, such as Gimlet and Anchor, and is developing exclusive licensing agreements with popular creative artists.
After promotion to CFO, Spotify now relies on brother Vogel to determine how to allocate assets among different initiatives that Spotify is undertaking: Which initiatives warrant financial backing? How much money should be expended to start and maintain a corporate endeavor? How long should an undertaking be given to become successful? These are among the questions brother Vogel must deal with to maintain the growth of his company. Since he joined the company in 2016, the user base has more than tripled and the paid subscriber premium service has more than quadrupled. It can be expected, with its finances in the capable hands of Paul Vogel, Spotify will continue to expand and thrive.