While there were rumors earlier in the week, the company has now made the news official, stating that Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren will step down as CEO. The news doesn't come as a surprise, as the streaming service has struggled against competitors like Spotify and Apple Music in recent years.
For the time being COO Naveen Chopra, who has been with the company for a mere five months, will become the interim CEO. Chopra formerly was employed at TiVo, rising through the ranks at the firm with a career that spanned a little over 13 years to become the interim CEO & CFO. The board will begin a search for a permanent replacement.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Pandora board member Roger Faxon said:
“Over the past several weeks, the board has taken a number of steps to refocus and reinforce Pandora. As listeners continue to move from traditional terrestrial radio to more dynamic and flexible offerings, it is the board’s belief that the transition continues to present a massive opportunity and that Pandora is in an ideal position to capture an increasing share of this audience.”
While not the first, Pandora was one of the earliest streaming music services to be offered and enjoyed quite a bit of success in its early days. Although Spotify would arrive nearly six years later, the firm would come to eclipse the older service, becoming one of the dominating services offered today.