Beth Appleton Steps Down As Jaxsta Appoints New CEO

29 June 2023 | 10:22 am | Ellie Robinson

She’s been replaced by Josh Simons, co-founder of what’s been dubbed “LinkedIn for creatives”.

New Jaxsta CEO Josh Simons

New Jaxsta CEO Josh Simons (Source: Supplied)

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Jaxsta CEO Beth Appleton has stepped down from her post, making way for Vampr co-founder Josh Simons to take her place.

Appleton's replacement, effective as of today (June 29), comes in the wake of news earlier this year that Jaxsta Limited had acquired the Vampr platform; Vampr has been dubbed “LinkedIn for creatives” and works similarly as a social-professional network for musicians. The acquisition process began in February of this year.

Appleton – a much-respected figure in the global music industry – was named Jaxsta’s CEO last April. She previously served as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Warner Music Australia and has a multi-decade history in the music industry both here in Australia and the UK.

Simons co-founded Vampr in 2015 alongside Barry Palmer, and as the company’s CEO, built it into the largest online platform of its kind. Vampr currently has some 1.3 million users, and has thus far facilitated more than eight million connections worldwide. It’s also earned acclaim from the likes of Apple and Google, and last year was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. After the platform's acquisition, Simons took on the role of Chief Strategy Officer before today's promotion. 

In a press statement, Simons said he was excited to step up to the role: “Jaxsta has a clear vision and product roadmap going into FY24, and that’s a credit to the Board, Beth and the team who have done a remarkable job. Revenue, cost efficiency and profitability remain the top priorities for Jaxsta and I look forward to building on the current momentum. We have the foundation for a transformational global music product as we continue to integrate Vampr into the business and scale the platform.” was launched by Jaxsta in May of this year, serving as a direct-to-consumer record store and media platform hybrid. The titular website bills the platform as “an online record store that allows you to dig through liner notes as though you’re diggin’ through crates, exploring who did what on each album”.

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Though she’s no longer CEO, Appleton will stick around at Jaxsta for a while longer, ensuring Simons can transition seamlessly into his new role. She said of the shake-up in personnel: “I will relish my time at Jaxsta and the initiatives that I drove. I wish Josh, and the incredible team, all the very best for the future. I’m proud to have been a part of the Jaxsta evolution, and look forward to watching the business continue on its mission.”

Jaxsta chair Linda Jenkinson added, “The Board thanks Beth for her significant contribution to Jaxsta during a period of growth and change. We wish her all the best for her future. Further, the Board and I congratulate Josh on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer. 

“Josh, who co-founded Vampr, is a visionary, product expert and highly energetic leader who shares our vision and mission for Jaxsta. Josh has worked closely with Beth and her team over the past few months and was instrumental in attracting new cornerstone investment into the company.”

The surprise move comes as ‘Rich List’ member Richard White, founder and CEO of WiseTech, last week became a substantial shareholder in Jaxsta as part of an AUD$3M capital raise. White appears to be a significant figure in Simons’ new position, having said in a statement of his own: 

“I’ve been following Josh Simons for a number of years as the founder and CEO of Vampr. I have been impressed by his tenacity, focus, vision and particularly the ability to build a commercial model that grows and retains revenue and customers. Now that Vampr is a part of Jaxsta, Josh will, no doubt, contribute his drive, skills and experience to the larger business. I see his contribution will be able to create a clear path to revenue and profitability for Jaxsta.”