Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

Jun 28, 2017, 01:46
Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

The company, which has never turned a profit on an annual basis, faces intensifying competition from services such as Sweden's Spotify, Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) Apple Music and Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google Play Music. Naveen Chopra, who stepped in as the company's CFO back in February will be filling in the top spot as interim CEO while the board of directors looks for a permanent replacement. Now, it is also offering a full on-demand service to directly compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

But perhaps the biggest problem facing Pandora is its cash position, which was shrinking and as of March 31 with cash and short-term investments of $203 million.

Jason Hirschhorn, an influential media-industry exec, is joining Pandora's board.

Hirschhorn was previously the co-president of the once red hot social network Myspace.

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The stock climbed in trading Monday following reports that CEO and co-founder Tim Westergren was stepping down.

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

Pandora announced June 9 that it had agreed to sell a 19 per cent stake to Sirius, the satellite-radio provider.

"We invented a whole new way of enjoying and discovering music and in doing so, forever changed the listening experience for millions", Westergren said.

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"Over the past several weeks, the board has taken a number of steps to refocus and reinforce Pandora", board member Roger Faxon said in the statement. Pandora announced a $10-a-month on-demand service for listeners earlier this year.

"I believe Pandora is perfectly poised for its next chapter", Westergren says in a statement regarding the move.

The Pandora investment represents a kind of long-term insurance policy for Sirius against these market shifts.

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

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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.

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