While YouTube’s subscription music service remains a work in progress, its leading man will depart for a position elsewhere. Chris LaRosa, who has been with Google since 2007, will exit on Friday to begin working at an unnamed startup.
The music project manager’s departure marks the second in Google’s music department in the past year. Director of music Nikhil Chandock exited the company last fall.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, both LaRosa and Chandhok left the company partially due to difficulties surrounding the delayed YouTube music subscription service’s launch. Set to take off sometime within the next few months, the service will look to compete with services like Spotify, and will come with features such as zero advertising, the ability to continue playing music when users switch to other apps, and even some limited music storage for offline listening.
The service has already seen its fair share of controversy. Last month, YouTube was accused of playing hardball with some independent music labels that had not agreed to its licensing terms, reportedly threatening to remove videos of artists represented by those labels.
Controversy surrounding the service also exists within the company, the WSJ reports, as the frustrating delays in its release come from debates on what future subscribers would have to pay for and how the service will function as a part of YouTube’s overall platform.
Google/YouTube have not announced a replacement for LaRosa.