Pandora CEO Tim Westergren has stepped down effective immediately, the company announced today. The news of his departure was first reported by Recode. Westergren will also step down from the board of directors, vacating all official positions with the company he founded back in 2000.
CFO Naveen Chopra will act as interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement. Pandora also announced that president Mike Herring and CMO Nick Bartle will also step down.
Pandora board member Tim Leiweke stated that it was Westergren’s decision to leave. “We support Tim’s desire to identify a new CEO for Pandora’s next stage,” Leiweke said.
“I came back to the CEO role last year to drive transformation across the business,” Westergren said in a statement. “We accomplished far more than we anticipated. We rebuilt Pandora’s relationships with the music industry; launched a fantastic Premium on-demand service, and brought a host of tech innovations to our advertising business. With these in place, plus a strengthened balance sheet, I believe Pandora is perfectly poised for its next chapter.”
This is the second time Westergren has stepped down from the CEO role, following an early stint as the leader of the company when it launched in the early 2000s. Pandora is undoubtedly in a better position than when Westergren took over back in April 2016: it has an on-demand streaming service and a new pile of cash courtesy of Sirius XM. But the company still has a long way to go to turn itself around and start making money.