eMusic CEO David Pakman Out

This one's odd: A few weeks ago eMusic CEO David Pakman was meeting with us and talking up the chances of his company, which sells digital downloads via monthly subscription service. Now he's out, headed for an unnamed but "premier" venture capital firm, according to an eMusic press release. No replacement named.

We'll go ahead and read between the lines here and hazard a guess that this wasn't entirely amicable, but will have more as we get it. Here's the release, for now:



NEW YORK - Sept. 29, 2008 - eMusic, the world's largest retailer of independent music and the world's second-largest digital music service after iTunes, today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer David Pakman will depart the company. Pakman will become a partner at a premier venture capital firm. The name of the firm is undisclosed. eMusic has retained the Barlow Group, a Connecticut-based executive search firm to recruit a new chief executive.

Pakman will remain with the company through the end of 2008 to assist with the transition. He will remain an active member of eMusic's advisory team; serving on the company's Board, and will continue to be involved with the company in the future. Pakman joined eMusic as Chief Operating Officer in 2004 and was elevated to CEO in August 2005.

"I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the past five years,' said Pakman. "eMusic has one of the best operating teams in digital entertainment, has grown into a sophisticated direct marketing enterprise, and is a company with a proven business model. Our subscriber base now tops 400,000 - more than six times where we started, and we've increased revenue tenfold. Our success has outlasted many other players in the space, and we're now the only remaining stand-alone digital entertainment retailer.'

"David has been instrumental in transforming eMusic from a niche music business to a global direct marketing platform capable of delivering any form of downloadable digital media.' said Danny Stein, Chairman of eMusic and President of JDS Capital Management. "While we're proud of David's success and the great team that survives him, we look forward to working with a new CEO who will take the company from $70 million of revenue to several hundred million of revenue.'

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