Pandora CEO Tim Westergren Departs

Pandora CEO Tim Westergren Departs

Pandora CEO Tim Westergren Departs

The co-founder and CEO of Pandora, under intensifying pressure from Spotify and Apple Music, has relinquished his position and will step down from the company board as well.

The company's financial chief, Naveen Chopra, will become interim CEO as the company seeks a permanent successor. After founding Pandora in 2000, Westergren stepped in for a second round as Pandora's chief previous year, helping the company to broker fresh deals with music labels and launch a subscription service like Spotify's and Apple's.

A representative from Pandora declined to comment to Amplify. The company, which went public in 2011, amassed almost 80 million listeners each month, and built a substantial online advertising business, topping $1 billion a year ago.

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

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Pandora could be set to put an end to its operations in Australia and New Zealand in the coming days.

The long-suspected departure of CEO Tim Westergren was announced before the open.

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

The move comes amid rapid changes in the music business.

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In an effort to regain ground, the company agreed to sell a 19% stake in the company to SiriusXM in exchange for a $480 million infusion last month.

Though Pandora shopped its middle market ticketer around to Ticketmaster and AEG's AXS, Eventbrite scooped up its most significant competitor for $200 million. Before that, Pandora was primarily focused on ad-supported streaming. In May, hedge fund Corvex Management bought a 9.9 percent stake in Pandora and began urging the company to explore a sale instead of pursuing "a costly and uncertain business plan".

Pandora was an early pioneer in streaming music, and grew its user base to more than 80 million people, most of whom used the free version of its web radio service.

Pandora Radio just couldn't compete with Spotify, as it has a strong local presence in the country.

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