Pandora founder Tim Westergren is taking over as CEO of the radio-streaming company, according to an announcement made Monday morning.
Westergren, a music industry veteran, was the prime architect of the Music Genome Project, which became Pandora.
He served as Pandora's CEO and president from 2002 to 2004 and as its chief strategy officer from 2004 to 2014.
Pandora shares were down 10% in premarket trading on the news.
As Pandora prepares for a radical shift in direction, toward areas like on-demand streaming and concert ticketing, it is returning to its roots. "As the original founder, Tim carries the vision for how Pandora can transform the music industry," chairman Jim Feuille said in a statement.
Rumors have swirled recently that Pandora is looking to sell itself.
Westergren will replace Brian McAndrews, who has been Pandora's CEO since 2013. McAndrews is leaving the company, according to Pandora.
McAndrews had lashed out at rivals in the streaming industry for creating an unsustainable business environment by spending large amounts of venture-capital money. Pandora, unlike rivals such as Spotify, is a public company and has to answer to shareholders.
Pandora is a company in transition. Two recent high-profile acquisitions suggest it wants to break beyond "internet radio," with a particular interest in on-demand streaming, which would put it into more direct competition with Spotify and Apple Music. Pandora in Novemberbought key assets of the embattled streaming service Rdio for $75 million, and the company has said these are critical to its plans to move into the on-demand arena.
Westergren pointed to this in a statement on his appointment as CEO. "We are pursuing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a massive, vibrant music marketplace," he said. The word "marketplace" in particular speaks to a broader vision for the company beyond streaming radio.
Pandora also announced a new management structure. Here is how the leadership will be organized, according to Pandora:
- "Mike Herring, as President and Chief Financial Officer, drives monetization of Pandora's core business covering revenue, music licensing, finance, legal, and information technology. He will also continue to focus on driving efficiencies and expanding margins."
- "Sara Clemens, as Chief Operating Officer, focuses on growing and scaling the business and operating new ventures. Her responsibilities include music makers, Ticketfly, international, human resources and corporate development."
- "Pandora's Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips, is responsible for product, engineering and marketing. His team will develop, deliver and drive adoption of products that connect fans and artist in new ways, including on-demand, and help advertisers reach their audiences."