Pandora has announced that Sling TV founding CEO Roger Lynch will join the company as CEO and president, effective September 18th, 2017. Naveen Chopra, who served as Pandora’s interim CEO following co-founder Tim Westergren’s announcement that he was vacating all official positions with the company, will continue as chief financial officer.
As the founding CEO of Dish Network-owned Sling TV, Lynch led the company to become the leading on-demand over-the-top (OTT) service in the US Before Sling TV, he held several executive positions with Dish Network, UK IPTV provider Video Networks International, and Chello Broadband. Though Lynch does not have executive experience within the music industry, he has a history of leading companies successfully into new territories and is also a musician himself, as the lead guitarist in classic rock and R&B band The Merger.
Lynch is taking over at a crucial time: Pandora is still fresh off a rebrand and platform overhaul that has it focusing on how to continue converting free users into paying Premium customers. The company closed the quarter with 4.86 million total paid subscribers, 390,000 of which were Premium. Pandora’s monthly active users stands at 76 million, a steady decrease since its peak of 81.5 million monthly active users in 2014.
Also joining the Pandora board is Michael Lynton, current chairman of Snap Inc. Before Snap, Lynton ran Sony Pictures for over a decade, and his rich history in film could be an indicator in Pandora’s video interest moving forward. Pandora hasn't said much about its video plans since Westergren told The Verge that video was “on our list” back in March, but adding Lynton to the board could mean the company is finally ready to expand into new areas which could help boost Pandora's revenue in the long term.