Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Pandora Media's CEO Tim Westergren to step down: Recode

Pandora Media's CEO Tim Westergren to step down: Recode

The co-founder and CEO of Pandora, under intensifying pressure from Spotify and Apple Music, has relinquished his position and will step down from the company board as well.

According to AdNews, the US-founded platform's closure in the country is imminent as Tim Westergreen is reportedly walking away from the company he co-founded in 2000.

It seems his resignation just couldn't wait.

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

Meanwhile, music listeners have begun gravitating to the on-demand subscription services of Spotify, Apple and others, which offer ad-free access.

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"With these in place, plus a strengthened balance sheet, I believe Pandora is perfectly poised for its next chapter", Mr Westergren said. Pandora said that Naveen Chopra, a former TiVo executive who joined Pandora as CFO in February, will serve as interim CEO while the company conducts a search for a permanent CEO.

"(Westergren's) sudden departure suggests that the board was dissatisfied with him altogether", said sanalyst Michael Pachter, who covers Pandora for Wedbush Securities. He returned as CEO in March 2016 due to displeasure with his predecessor, Brian McAndrews, as the company struggled to keep up with new rivals. He returned to the position a year ago, to the displeasure of some investors. Deezer also halted its Australian operations.

The streaming music company's shares already have plunged by about 78 percent from their 2014 high, leaving it with a market value of $2 billion. The music streamer employed sixty people in the country. Pandora had paid $335 million for it in late 2015, but sold it for $200 million to Eventbrite, an independent ticketing company.

Pandora's board has spent the last few weeks trying to determine the company's future, and it appears that includes a new leadership direction. However, its commercial growth reportedly hadn't "kept pace with that of the USA business". Both moves were aimed at injecting cash into the business to help it cope with a constantly changing music industry.

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