Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Pandora CEO Tim Westergren is planning to step down

Pandora CEO Tim Westergren is planning to step down

AdNews reports that the streaming platform's founder Tim Westergreen is preparing to step down from his role, and that Pandora will subsequently cease operations in Australia.

Pandora named Naveen Chopra, who was hired as chief financial officer in February, as its interim CEO.

In addition, President Mike Herring and chief marketing officer Nick Bartle are leaving the company. The deals gave Pandora a cash injection as the company adjusts to the changing landscape in the music industry, where on-demand downloading services like Spotify Ltd are gaining in popularity.

Earlier this month, satellite music company Sirius XM said it would invest $480 million in Pandora in exchange for a 19 percent stake and three board seats. "With "digital radio" at the core of our business, and both "Plus" and "Premium" as new, integral parts of our arsenal, Pandora now has all of the tools necessary to capitalize on this opportunity".

Hirschhorn is best known in media circles as the CEO of ReDef Group, a company he founded by expanding his influential media-news curation newsletter, MediaRedef.

A number of business titles are reporting today that Tim Westergreen, the founder of Pandora, is stepping down.

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Despite having a global user base of 80 million, Pandora's Australian reach only equates to 1.2 million and it has been reported that its commercial growth has failed to match the US.

Investors are disappointed that Sirius XM, which is backed by media mogul John Malone of Liberty Media, is only buying a stake in Pandora.

Said Westergren, "I am incredibly proud of the company we have built".

The company supports "Tim's desire to identify a new CEO for Pandora's next stage", board member Tim Leiweke said in a statement. In an attempt to compete, Pandora began offering an ad-free option earlier this year, but the company has yet to see a significant conversion of free to paid customers.

"I believe Pandora is perfectly poised for its next chapter", he said. Pandora reported a $132.3 million net loss in Q1, up 14.9%, on revenues of $316.0 million, up 6.3%.

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