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

Posted June 28, 2017

In a statement, Mr Westergren touted his accomplishments since returning as CEO, saying he rebuilt Pandora's relationships with the music industry, introduced the on-demand service and brought more technology to the company's advertising. 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.

Pandora said today President Mike Herring and Chief Marketing Officer Nick Bartle are also leaving the company.

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.

Trader Daniel Ryan, left, and Robert Charmak work at the post that handles Pandora on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. The company named music and social media veteran Jason Hirschhorn to its board. The CEO of digital content company the ReDEF Group is well known in media business circles from his work as MTV Networks' Chief Digital Officer, President of Sling Media, and co-President of Myspace.

Currently Pandora has not selected a successor for this 17-year veteran that founded the company.

SiriusXM's parent company Liberty Media recently invested a minority 19% stake in the company.

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

The resulting service, Pandora Premium, available for $10 a month, the same as Spotify and Apple Music, was introduced in the spring.

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

Pandora has had global ambitions at various points in its history, and the move into the Australian market was seen as a first step in that plan. Pandora burned through $182 million in cash previous year and another $36 million in the first quarter of 2017. Will Westergren's unexpected resignation pave the way for an eventual and total acquisition of Pandora Radio?