John MacFarlane has announced his resignation as the head of Sonos, the outfit he founded 15 years ago.
Sonos makes wireless multi-room music systems for the home and had been doing well. MacFarlane was planning to clean out his desk and move on when Amazon released its Echo speakers, which started to see off his company from the market.
Writing in the company’s bog, MacFarlane said that the changes need to fight back were complete, now it’s about acceleration and leading. “I can look ahead and see the role of Sonos, with the right experiences, partners, and focus, with a healthy future. In short, the future of the home music experience, and the opportunity for Sonos has never been better.”
Sonos has become more competitive with UX updates and increased compatibility with music services like Spotify and Apple Music. Last year MacFarlane laid off employees.
The role of CEO will be filled by Patrick Spence, who is currently serving as the company’s president, after four years as COO and stints at RIM and IBM Canada.
MacFarlane will be staying on at the Santa Barbara-based streaming hardware company in a consulting role, but will be resigning from its board of directors.
Tablets and smartphones have fundamentally changed the audio market with connected audio devices to reach 267 million units by 2018, compared to 58 million units in 2014.
IHS Technology said that the increasing use of streaming music services such as Deezer, Spotify and Pandora all contributing to people buying audio kit that lets you listen while you’re on the move.
IHS Technology said that tablets and smartphones will represent 83 percent of all media enabled consumer electronics by 2018.
Analyst Paul Erickson said that Bluetooth headphones and speakers are now “ubiquitous”, while wi-fi network connected multiroom speakers are also growing in popularity.
Sonos is currently the brand leader, but the trend means other vendors including Denon, Hitachi, Samsung, LG, Sony, Bose, Bang and Olufsen have all similar offerings.
Erickson said: “With the shift to an Android dominated mobile device market, audio manufacturers are steadily moving away from the wired only and Apple only connections of old in favour of wireless connectivity.”