Roger Lynch Named President/CEO of Pandora

Interim CEO Naveen Chopra will remain as its CFO August 15, 2017
Roger Lynch

OAKLAND, Calif. — Pandora Media on Monday named Roger Lynch, the former CEO of Sling TV, as its new chief executive, the company announced.  In addition to becoming Pandora’s CEO, Lynch becomes the company’s president and will join its board of directors. Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra, who had been serving as Pandora’s interim CEO since Tim Westergren’s departure in late June, will remain as its CFO.

Pandora selected its new boss almost two months after company co-founder Westergren stepped down from the job, on June 27, less than three weeks after Pandora sold a 19% stake in the company to satellite radio company Sirius XM for $480 million. Under terms of the deal with Sirius, the satellite radio provider was given the right to pick three new members for Pandora’s board of directors, including its next board chairman. Since then, some have speculated that Pandora could end up selling a controlling stake of itself to Sirius, or even Liberty Media, which owns a majority share of Sirius’ stock.

Pandora’s shares were 4.3% higher, to $8.41, in after-hours trading Monday, according to the San Jose Mercury news. For the year, however, Pandora’s stock price has fallen more than 35%. Investors are hoping that Lynch will provide some stability to Pandora, which for more than a year has been marked by concerns about its future in the music-streaming market.

Westergren’s second go-around as Pandora’s CEO started in early 2016. Even then he faced calls to explore selling the company as Pandora faced challenges in the music-streaming market from Apple Music and Spotify, according to the same article. Those companies offered on-demand subscription music-streaming options long before Pandora got its $9.99-a-month Pandora Premium service up and running in March.


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