Roger Lynch To Exit As Pandora CEO As Stockholders Approve Acquisition By SiriusXM

Courtesy of Pandora
Roger Lynch

Roger Lynch, who has served as CEO of Pandora since August 2017, will be stepping down from the company, according to a press release.

The news comes as Pandora stockholders approved the company’s $3.5 billion acquisition by SiriusXM, which was first reported in September.

During Lynch's tenure, the company invested extensively in its digital advertising business, including purchasing the audio advertising tech company AdsWizz in a $145 million deal announced last March, and in building up its subscription streaming service. That paid off in Q3 2018, when the company reported a 16 percent revenue increase year-over-year, and announced it added 800,000 new paid subscribers for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

But the company continued to lose monthly active listeners, ending the quarter with 68.8 million, down from 73.7 million in Q3 of 2017. Likewise, total listener hours dropped to 4.81 billion in Q3 2018, down from 5.15 billion the same period in 2017.

The SiriusXM acquisition, which had been approved in Europe in November (despite neither company operating in the region), was approved in a special meeting of Pandora stockholders, which overwhelmingly approved the proposal. Once the acquisition is completed as is now expected, shares of Pandora will no longer be available on the New York Stock Exchange, and will be converted into 1.44 new shares of stock in SiriusXM.

Moving forward, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer will take over the combined companies, which will become an industry-leading digital-audio company that generated nearly $7 billion in revenue in 2017. In addition to Lynch, Pandora CFO Naveen Chopra, CHRO Kristen Robinson and general counsel Steve Bene will also exit once the transaction is finalized.

This is a developing story.