The music may be over for Pandora's CEO

Traders work at the kiosk where Pandora internet radio is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this
Pandora Media CEO Tim Westergren Reportedly Plans To Step Down
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27 June, 2017

As I mentioned earlier, Recode yesterday reported that Pandora Media (P), pioneers of streaming Internet radio, may be about to see a CEO switch, as Tim Westergren is rumored to be planning to step down once a replacement is found for him.

Westergren, who co-founded Pandora in 2000, served as its Chief Executive and president from May 2002 to July 2004, before returning to the company as its chief executive past year. Both these moves have resulted in a cash infusion of roughly US$700m.

The acquisition proved fruitful for the ticketing company that managed to lure many new clients and saw an uptick in sales due to integration with Pandora's platform. In addition, SiriusXM will control three seats on Pandora's nine-member board, with one serving as Chairman.

A Pandora spokesperson had no comment on the matter, but speculation has swirled for months that Westergren could be on the way out as CEO. What's more, with a stake in Pandora, Sirius is also for the first time set to profit from ad-supported radio, allowing it to attack traditional terrestrial radio on two fronts. They even hit an all-time low a few days after the Sirius XM deal.

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There has also been chatter that Verizon would be interested in buying a stake in Pandora.

Pandora hasn't given its investors much to be pleased about lately.

"We continue to view fundamentals as challenged, but believe the combination of reduced M&A expectations and the likelihood for an increased focus on stabilizing cash flow reduces downside risk in Pandora", Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves said in a note to clients. To that end, Pandora also said on the day of the Sirius XM investment that it would sell its Ticketfly unit to Eventbrite for $200 million. But her songs are now back on Spotify, as well as Pandora, Amazon and Tidal.

Earlier this year, Pandora rolled out its version of a subscription service.


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