Pandora is pulling the plug on Australia and New Zealand, the only international territories where it operates, in an effort to focus solely on the United States. The retraction Down Under arrives as the Oakland-based company says goodbye to co-founder Tim Westergren, who stepped down this week as CEO plus relinquished his board seat.
A Pandora spokesperson told Billboard that after much analysis, it was decided to discontinue operations in the two countries over the next few weeks. “While our experience in these markets reinforces the broader global opportunity long-term, in the short-term we must remain laser-focused on the expansion of our core business in the United States,” the rep said.
Sydney is home to Pandora’s largest international office, with staffers working in sales, rev ops, creative services, HR and marketing. A satellite office in Melbourne houses sales and rev ops departments. Pandora’s New Zealand office, located in downtown Auckland, has sales and revenue operations.
Pandora’s head count in the ANZ market is unclear; according to AdNews, around 60 people work in the Australian offices. Jane Huxley, who launched the service there, announced she was leaving in March after five years. At the time, Pandora said its ANZ listener base had grown to over 5 million registered users.
In Australia, the service has partnerships with Woolworths and Rolling Stone, among other brands.
Westergren’s exit was confirmed on Tuesday, along with the departures of two other high level executives: chief marketing officer Nick Bartle, who joined in September 2016, and president Mike Herring, who has been with the company since February 2013. The changes come on the heels of a series of deals aimed at stabilizing its balance sheet, most notably a $480 million investment by SiriusXM and the sell-off of its ticketing business TicketFly for $200 million.
“Over the past several weeks, the board has taken a number of steps to refocus and reinforce Pandora.,” said board member Roger Faxon.