Founder/Chief Strategy Officer
Internet radio in 2012 can be traced back to one person: Tim Westergren (right), the founder of personalized Internet radio service Pandora. The company was born out of Savage Beast Technologies, an Internet boom-era startup created to map the musical DNA of songs. Savage Beast struggled as it licensed its service to clients like AOL and Best Buy, but Westergren kept the company afloat until an investment from Walden Venture Capital helped turn it into a consumer-facing webcasting service. There's no doubt that CEO Joe Kennedy has been instrumental to Pandora's success. He joined the company in 2004 after serving as E-LOAN president/COO and stayed through the lean years. Kennedy also led the company through additional rounds of investments and an initial public stock offering in 2011. But Westergren is Pandora's heart and soul, leading its forward-looking strategy: His town hall meetings in U.S. cities have helped give Pandora a close connection with its customers. When Internet radio is as common as AM or FM radio is today, broadcast executives will have Westergren to thank for the disruption.
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