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

28 June 2017, 01:43 | Gerardo Harmon

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Tim Westergren, the CEO of Pandora, is reportedly stepping down from the company that he co-founded 17 years ago. 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.

Westergren, Pandora's co-founder, succeeded Brian McAndrews as the firm's CEO in March past year. Reached by Variety, a rep for the company declined to comment early Monday.

Westergren took over the CEO role last March, mostly to guide the company's launch of its on-demand competitor to Spotify and Apple Music, which completed its rollout in April.

Earlier this month, SiriusXM invested $US480m in Pandora.

Pandora said it filled another board seat with Jason Hirschhorn, CEO of ReDEF Group, a "digital content curation company".

With these changes, Pandora will have undergone a almost complete overhaul of its management in a little more than a year, and investors and music executives are now waiting to see what influence Sirius XM and its owners, Liberty Media, will have on the remade company.

The move comes amid rapid changes in the music business. There are new reports coming out saying that Pandora Chief Executive Tim Westergren may soon step down from his job. That suggests Pandora may shift its focus to improving its financial performance, even if it means less investments in campaigns that could add to subscriber growth.

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

Pandora has revamped its online radio service and launched a new on-demand service to better compete with Spotify, which has far more paying subscribers. 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. Live Nation instead began working with Pandora rival Spotify to provide a similar partnership that gave the ticketing giant access to Spotify's 100 million global listeners.

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