Neil Young is the New CEO of PonoMusic

By Annie Reuter

If you want it done right, do it yourself.

That very well could be Neil Young‘s philosophy on his music platform PonoMusic, a high-end digital audio system, as the singer has taken over as CEO after the company’s former chief executive officer, John Hamm, stepped down last week.

However, according to Mainstreet, Hamm will remain an investor in the company.

Related: Interview: Neil Young Says Pono Is ‘a Revelation’ Because You Can ‘Hear Everything’

Very involved in all aspects of the process, in an interview in March, Hamm said Young is full of ideas.

“I talk to him like clockwork five times a day,” Hamm told TheStreet during the March interview. “The conversation always starts out, ‘John? It’s Neil. I’ve been thinking… ‘ And what comes next is something new for the Web site or some new idea for the player.”

Young launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year for his project, which includes an online music store and the PonoPlayer. The campaign raised upwards of $6.2 million.

In an interview with, Young shared his delight of the funds raised.

“We made a low estimate,” Young conceded to “But we are very gratified by the results and by the interest and the support and pledges behind us on Kickstarter. It’s great to have the people recognizing what it is we’re doing and why we’re doing it. There’s a lot of people out there that understand this.”

Related: Neil Young’s Pono Kickstarter Raised Over $6 Million

He added: “The problem is, people made music, and then it got dumbed down so you could have 2,000 to 5,000 or however many thousand tracks on your little device that was mostly made to play ringtones. The ringtones sound about the same quality as the music, and music is something that stands on its own. It’s an art form, so there’s a lot more depth to music than a Xerox copy of it. The same thing could be said of looking at a Xerox of the Mona Lisa — the difference between that and the Mona Lisa is the difference between what we have been listening to and what we could be listening to.”


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