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Changing The Station?: If there is a heart and soul of Pandora, it has to be Tim Westergren.
He is one of the creators of the Music Genome Project, the math algorithm that provided the basis for Pandora’s music-streaming business, a business that Westergren also co-founded. He was Pandora’s chief executive, then its chief strategy officer. In 2010, Time magazine included Westergren among its list of the 100 most-influential people in the world. Last year, he began his second tenure as Pandora’s CEO.
And it may be a matter of time before Westergren is out of a job.
That’s what can happen when a new board of directors takes over a company. And, with Sirius XM ponying up $480 million to buy 19 percent of Oakland-based Pandora, and soon getting three new seats on the company’s board, including getting to pick Pandora’s chairman, anyone who thinks Sirius won’t start making some changes at the company needs to check their internet connection because something is going to happen.
In the view of BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, that “something” could be Westergren packing his bags. Greenfield, one of the best-known media and technology analysts in the industry, figures that “Pandora’s mistakes are simply too large to ignore and ultimately the mistakes point to one person, founder and current CEO, Tim Westergren.”
In some ways, Pandora has had a rough go of it lately. While the likes of Spotify and Apple Music moved into on-demand subscription-based music streaming services without ads, Pandora held fast with its ad-supported service, along with maintaining what was a lesser-known…
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