On Friday in Stockholm, Sweden, the driver of a stolen beer truck steered directly into a department store and a crowd of shoppers. The driver killed four and injured 15.
One of the victims killed was Spotify executive Chris Bevington, director of global partnerships. Bevington had been with Spotify for five years.
Authorities arrested the driver and suspect, 39-year-old Rakhmat Akilov, a native of Uzbekistan, for the terrorist act. The Swedish government apparently rejected Akilov’s asylum request last year. Experts suspect this led to the motivation behind the attack. Sweden rejected his application because the suspect sympathized with extremist organizations and the Islamic state. That’s according to national police chief Jonas Hysing.
Sweden scheduled Akilov for deportation after authorities didn’t grant the asylum request. Before anything happened, the suspect disappeared. A young Swedish girl, and another Swede and a Belgian tourist also died in the senseless attack. Akilov now faces terrorism charges.
Bevington was a British citizen born in South Africa. He was 41. He left behind his wife of five years, Annika, and their young son.
The Stockholm-based Spotify is a music streaming service founded in 2008. It provides over 30 million songs via rights-protected content from record labels. Spotify’s basic features are free and customers can add features with a subscription fee. Advertisements offset the free services. The company has 100 million active users and 50 million paying users. They pay royalties based on artist streams versus total songs streamed.
The company is reeling at Bevington’s loss. On Sunday, Spotify made this official statement. “It is with shock and a heavy heart that we can confirm that Chris Bevington from our Spotify team lost his life in Friday’s senseless attack on Stockholm.”
Co-founder Dave Ek continued by saying, “Chris has had a great impact on not just the business but on everyone who had the privilege to know and work with him. There are no words for how missed he will be or for how sad we all are to have lost him like this. Whilst this terrible news is sinking in, our primary focus is on supporting the family and loved ones of Chris in any way we possibly can. We will greatly miss you Chris. Rest in Peace my friend.”
In a makeshift memorial around the store, one message said, “There are no words for how missed Chris will be or for how sad we all are to have lost him like this.”
The country of Sweden is also reeling that a terrorist attack occurred in their peaceful country. Ek said, “I am as deeply saddened and upset as all of you that something like this could happen in Sweden.”