Photo Credit: Utopia Music
Utopia Music co-founder Mattias Hjelmstedt makes his exit amid executive shakeups.
Mattias Hjelmstedt, co-founder and former head of Utopia Music, has left the company amid executive shakeups, multiple rounds of job cuts, and ongoing legal disputes.
His departure was announced in a staff memo obtained by Billboard on Thursday, February 1, sent by recently appointed CEO Michael Stebler and the board of directors. The memo states that after “long discussions” with board members, Hjelmstedt submitted his resignation over a desire to dedicate more time to “new projects and challenges.”
“I can say with absolute certainty that this was necessary for the company’s survival,” said Stebler, who has led the company since mid-January and represents Utopia’s majority shareholders. He told staff that he and the board are “extremely grateful” to Hjelmstedt (pictured) for “creating and running this amazing company for significant periods of time.”
Stebler went on to say he was grateful for the “tough but necessary decisions” that Hjelmstedt had started implementing in 2022, referring to the earlier rounds of job cuts. Hjelmstedt chimes in to explain that the decision to step down from his position at the company “was not taken lightly.”
“As I move forward, I am excited to see how Utopia will evolve, and I am cheering you all on, as I will always be one of Utopia’s biggest fans,” said Hjelmstedt, adding that he believes the company “will continue to grow and succeed,” and is “in capable hands.”
Mattias Hjelmstedt, a Swedish entrepreneur, co-founded the Swiss-headquartered Utopia Music in 2016 with Thomas Gullberg, leading the company through its immense growth between 2020 and 2022. That included scooping up 15 other companies such as royalty-backed cash advance firm Lyric Financial, music tech company Musimap, and UK-based physical music distributor Proper Music Group.
But in late 2022, Utopia began downsizing just as quickly, cutting 230 jobs by the end of the year and offloading three acquired businesses: Absolute Label Services, music database platform ROSTR, and UK publisher Sentric.
Hjelmstedt’s most recent posts at Utopia included executive chairman and member of the board since December.