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What's Behind the Management Shake-up at Pandora?

By Motley Fool Staff - Jul 5, 2017 at 4:33PM

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The streaming-music specialist is making major changes to its senior management team.

Following Sirius XM's new $480 million stake in the company, Pandora Media (P) announced a huge shake-up in its C-suite.

In this clip from Industry Focus: Tech, Motley Fool analyst Dylan Lewis and senior tech specialist Evan Niu explain which members of the management team are leaving, how shareholders are reacting to the news, what this means for Pandora going forward.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on June 30, 2017.

Dylan Lewis: We have an update on what's going on with Pandora's management team.

Evan Niu: Yeah. The co-founder and CEO Tim Westergren is stepping down. The former CFO is also leaving, the chief marketing officer is leaving. So, pretty big shake-up there. CFO Naveen Chopra will serve as the interim CEO as they search for a new CEO. And they added a new director, too. So, a lot of changes there at the top.

Lewis: And this isn't all that surprising when you talk about having an outside investor take a major stake in a business and get board seats. They are going to have their influence felt very quickly, because they probably have an idea for how things should be run. So, it's not shocking that there's some management shake-up. There's also, we hinted at this before, a little bit of a refocusing here in where they want to put their capital. They're doubling down on their domestic business now.

Niu: That too. But, as far as Westergren goes, I think it's arguably also overdue. Shares jumped just on the rumors that he was going to be leaving, before it was official. When you think about it, Pandora, in my mind, has really dropped the ball on shifting to on-demand. They created internet radio streaming. They were the first mover, and they've slipped into irrelevance because they didn't really give much attention to on-demand, and they made a lot of strategic missteps. Someone has to be held accountable for these mistakes, and I think shareholders for a while have been frustrated with Westergren. I think that's why shares jumped, and maybe this will help them turn the corner, if they can find someone else who can navigate that transition better.

Dylan Lewis owns shares of Pandora Media. Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Pandora Media. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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