Pandora's founding CEO Tim Westergren, who returned to the top job just last year, intends to step down as the streaming service's leader in the near future. According to Recode, which cites "people familiar" with the plans, Westergren won't go anywhere until a replacement has been found and is in place.
Westergren co-founded Pandora in 2000 and served as CEO/president from 2002 until 2014, before returning in May of last year as CEO (replacing Brian McAndrews). A good chunk of his first year was spent securing various label deals that enabled Pandora to launch its long-simmering on-demand subscription service, putting it in direct competition with key rivals Spotify and Apple Music.
He's also had to deal with a wobbly stock price and a steady drumbeat of acquisition rumors, the latter of which has since quieted after SiriusXM announced June 9 that it will make $480 million strategic cash investment in the company, amounting to a 16 percent stake. That same day, Pandora announced it would sell its ticketing arm Ticketfly to Eventbrite.
As previously noted, the Sirius and Ticketfly/Eventbrite deals, coupled with the $199 million disclosed in its 2016 financials, gives the company a total of $856 million in cash on hand, buying it time to make its on-demand service profitable.
Pandora's stock closed Friday at $8.28, sharply down from $12 just three months ago, but a sharp rebound from last Monday (June 19) when it dipped to $6.91.
A spokesperson for Pandora declined to comment on Westergren's reported exit.