Digital Top Stories

Jeff Price discusses his sacking from TuneCore

By | Published on Thursday 25 October 2012

Jeff Price

The former boss of independent digital distribution business TuneCore has spoken in pretty candid terms about his surprise departure from the company earlier this year. Jeff Price, the always very vocal co-founder of TuneCore was very much seen as the frontman for the digital business, but in August he was pushed out of the firm, a few months after his co-founder Peter Wells had also been told his services were no longer required.

And in a lengthy interview with Digital Music News, Price now confirms the exit was far from amicable, claiming he was forced out by Gill Cogan, a partner at one of TuneCore’s early investors Opus Capital, and a board member of the digital distributor as part of that deal. His sacking seemingly followed growing tensions about certain board decisions that were made at the start of the year.

Price says: “At the beginning of 2012, there were certain things that occurred internally at TuneCore that I didn’t expect or authorise. It was these actions that, in my opinion, severely jeopardised TuneCore’s existence. I can’t comment further as to the specifics but I can say a number of months later I was terminated ‘without cause’ by Gill on behalf of the board”.

Adding that his dispute with the TuneCore board had now become rather personal, he added: “No specific reason was provided [for my sacking. Then] last week, almost four months after being fired, TuneCore’s lawyers implied that if I sued, they would respond by making absurd and Kafkaesque claims about me. I can’t believe things have gotten this stupid”.

Price, who still has a 13% stake in the digital distributor, says that he is not aware of a new CEO being appointed since his sacking, and he therefore feels the company now has a total lack of direction. And that his efforts to provide advice to the board, or to find a buyer to buy out those board members that had problems with his leadership, have been rejected.

Conceding no one is irreplaceable, even a high profile founder of a high profile start-up, Price added “someone needs to tell me how that company is worth more now with me gone than with me there, because I don’t see it. No one should be irreplaceable, but couldn’t there have been another way to have done it, or a transition or something? Was this the best way? How is the company worth more today than it was when I was still there? Cause I don’t understand it”.

Although saying he is constrained to an extent about what he can say by contractual terms, Price is still typical open about his experiences and opinions in the full interview, which you can read on the Digital Music News site. As previously reported, Price is now consulting for Canadian collecting society SOCAN.