Pandora founder Westergren becomes CEO among management restructure

During turbulence, can a new Pandora management structure help fend off competitors like Spotify and Apple Music?
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
(Image: File photo)

Pandora announced a big management shakeup on Monday, with company co-founder Tim Westergren replacing Brian McAndrews as CEO of the company.

Westergren founded the Pandora Music Genome Project in the early 2000s.

"I am incredibly excited about the future of Pandora. We're on the cusp of realizing an extraordinary vision: fundamentally changing the way listeners discover and enjoy music, and the way artists build and sustain their careers," Westergren said in a statement. "We are pursuing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a massive, vibrant music marketplace."

As of late, Pandora's has hit stumbling blocks as competition from other music streaming services increases. Pandora's stock opened down roughly eight percent in early trading on Monday as investors react to the news.

"We have the audience, the technology infrastructure, the monetization engine and most importantly the right team with the passion and commitment to do it. I'm 100 percent committed to Pandora's growth strategy, as is our executive team and Board," Westergren added.

Pandora didn't offer a reason for the change that is effective on Monday. McAndrews served as CEO since 2013.

"I am honored to have been the CEO of Pandora for the past two and a half years, and I am proud of what I and our team of talented and highly passionate colleagues have achieved during this time," the departing McAndrews said.

Further, Pandora noted a new management structure with Mike Herring as chief financial officer, Sara Clemens as chief operating officer, and Chris Phillips as chief product officer.

Pandora has some things to figure out. Last quarter, it posted a net loss of $169.9 million, a large decline from a $30 million loss in the previous year. A report earlier this year indicated Pandora is looking to sell itself, though we haven't heard anything recently about a planned sale.

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