Recode: Pandora CEO to step down

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Westergren will reportedly remain with Pandora in some capacity if he gives up his CEO seat.

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

Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra will serve as interim CEO as it looks for a permanent replacement, Pandora said Tuesday. Westergren will also be leaving his position on the board, and will be replaced there by Jason Hirschhorn, former co-president at Myspace and previously the chief digital officer at MTV.

Following news that broke yesterday afternoon of Pandora founder Tim Westergren's plan to step down from his CEO role at the company, there are strong whispers that the company is to halt its Australia and New Zealand operations imminently.

"(Westergren's) sudden departure suggests that the board was dissatisfied with him altogether", said sanalyst Michael Pachter, who covers Pandora for Wedbush Securities. "Nobody is left from the old regime".

Following rumblings of a shakeup over the weekend, Pandora confirmed today that co-founder Tim Westergren is stepping down from his role as CEO.

Many investors believe Pandora needs to be part of a larger company to deal with tough competition from Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Tidal, the service backed by Jay-Z. Pandora announced a $10-a-month on-demand service for listeners earlier this year. He returned to lead the company in 2016.




Shares of Pandora Media Inc., which are already down 35 percent since the beginning of the year, slipped about 1 percent to $8.38 in midday trading.

The sale marks a significant loss as Pandora bought Ticketfly less than two years ago for $450 million, seeing it as a new way to broaden its reach. Shares are down almost 28 percent over the past year. One of those three new members will become Pandora's new chairman, likely Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.

In a statement, Westergren explained how Pandora is ready to take the company to the next level.

But, the company has struggled to generate enough advertising revenue to cover the cost of the free service.

"It's not clear to me that they intend to stay the course of their strategy they revealed in late October, especially since most of the people (from then) are now gone", Pachter said.

The addition of Hirschhorn to the board, he adds, "will lend valuable counsel as we focus on driving long-term value for our shareholders".

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