Economy

Recode: Pandora CEO to step down

Recode: Pandora CEO to step down”

Pandora's Tim Westergren is set to step down as the company's CEO.

Pandora hasn't selected a replacement for Westergren, sources say; he will likely stay on at the company he founded 17 years ago until a new CEO is in place. Reached by Variety, a rep for the company declined to comment early Monday. Leveraging deals with auto manufacturers, Sirius XM was pre-installed in many new cars whose owners were given as much as one year free of service.

It seems possible the move is part of the Sirius deal, which sees the radio giant acquiring a 19% stake in the company and three seats on Pandora's board.

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Westergren has been running Pandora since 2016; prior to that the CEO slot had been occupied by a series of professional managers. Pandora reported a $132.3 million net loss in Q1, up 14.9%, on revenues of $316.0 million, up 6.3%. Yet as cars become better wired with broadband services, Sirius is confronting more competition for its place in the so-called connected auto.

Pandora faces stiff competition from services such as Sweden's Spotify, Apple Inc's Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Music Unlimited, which dominate the on-demand music service market.

Pandora has spent the past 18 months on a radical transformation, a process that culminated with the launch of its premium tier in March. The service will also allow Sirius to add advertising sales to its satellite-radio subscription model. Before that, Pandora was primarily focused on ad-supported streaming.

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