Digital advertising veteran Brian McAndrews will replace Joe Kennedy as CEO, president and chairman of Pandora, the company announced Wednesday. Kennedy announced in March he would be stepping down.
McAndrews is "uniquely qualified to lead Pandora to the next level in our business," Kennedy said in a statement.
As president and CEO of aQuantive, McAndrews helped turn the online agency into a rising star that was acquired by Microsoft in 2007 for $6 billion. After running Microsoft's Advertiser & Publisher Solutions group, McAndrews became an investing partner in Madrona Venture Group. He currently serves on the boards of The New York Times Co., Grubhub, Seamless and AppNexus.
“It is a great privilege to be asked to lead Pandora at this important moment in the company’s history,” McAndrews said in a statement. “By capturing the enthusiasm of more than 72 million monthly listeners, the management team, led by Joe and Tim, has made Pandora the clear Internet radio leader and created a product that consumers love. I look forward to joining this great team to build on Pandora's success for years to come.”
Pandora's choice of McAndrews underscores the importance of monetizing the company that was built during Kennedy's era. Pandora has scaled well as a listening platform. The service has over 72 million monthly active listeners and owns roughly a 70% share of the U.S. Internet radio market. With the launch of iTunes Radio a week away, Pandora is the undisputed leader in Internet radio.
But Pandora has not yet monetized the platform to the best of its abilities. McAndrews arrives as Pandora is putting more focus on advertising revenue and mobile revenue in particular. “With a proven record of growing businesses and managing complex organizations, Brian is uniquely qualified to lead Pandora to the next level in our business," said Kennedy.