Pandora Media's CEO Tim Westergren to step down - Recode
- Author: Rita Burton Jun 27, 2017,
Jun 27, 2017, 0:33
Westergren, one of Pandora's co-founders, has been the company's CEO since March 2016, and also served as chief executive more than a decade a ago. According to Recode, which cites "people familiar" with the plans, Westergren won't go anywhere until a replacement has been found and is in place. Westergren helped start the company in 2000 and was also CEO from May 2002 through July 2004. The company recently got a boost in the form of a $480 million investiment from SiriusXM announced earlier this month - although that deal has not closed - and $200 million from the sale of its Ticketfly business to Eventbrite. Both these moves have resulted in a cash infusion of roughly US$700m.
The addition of Sirius XM board members brings the prospect of more-disciplined management, Hargreaves said.
These initiatives, which moved to the forefront after Westergren added the CEO role in 2016, helped shift the music industry's perception of Pandora from foe to friend past year.
Shares of Pandora rose as much as 5% Monday before pulling back a bit.
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After the Sirius investment became public, some analysts who cover Pandora said that Westergren's days as CEO could be numbered, if for no other reason than when deals like this occur, whoever is cutting the investment check usually wants to push its influence upon the company it is buying into. Liberty Media owns a large stake in ticketing competition Live Nation and investors have urged Pandora to refocus its efforts on streaming.
Pandora's value diminished as it struggled to keep up with streamed music competitors including Amazon, Apple, Google, and Spotify.
Pandora was a pioneer in free online streaming, but it, too, has begun to experiment with a premium model that lets users avoid commercials.
Earlier this year, Pandora rolled out its version of a subscription service.