Pandora Media announced Monday (Oct. 17) that it has hired its first chief marketing officer, the first C-level since the company's June IPO: Simon Fleming-Wood. He was a marketing executive at Cisco Consumer Products and Pure Digital Technologies, known for its Flip video camera, before the company's acquisition by Cisco.
"Pandora has built a large and passionate following based entirely on the quality of its service and people," Fleming-Wood said in a statement. "Very few brands are invited into so many people's lives in such a personal way, every day."
At last count (July 31, the date of Pandora's latest financial statement) about 37 million people had decided to make Pandora a part of their lives in the preceding 30 days. The company passed 100 million registered users in July.
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Word-of-mouth has been a huge factor in its growth, but Pandora cannot live on word-of-mouth alone. It's now a public company with bigger expectations and more competition, and it needs the right staff in place to achieve its growth plans. That's why Fleming-Wood is a good hire. As the company expands to more automobiles and faces increased competition (namely Clear Channel's iHeartRadio, but there's sure to be more market entrants), it needs somebody to steer its marketing activities. And it probably doesn't hurt that Fleming-Wood already has experience introducing an innovative, disruptive product to a marketplace filled with established brands.
Fleming-Wood was the founding Vice President of Marketing at Pure Digital Technologies where he was responsible for the creation, development and introduction of the successful Flip Video brand. He held the position of Vice President of Marketing for the Cisco Consumer Products group after Cisco bought Pure in 2009. Previously, Simon has held senior marketing positions at Sega.com, the Learning Company/Mattel and The Clorox Company.