Pandora CEO Tim Westergren leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about a year on the job
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Westergren
  • Naveen Chopra taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Westergren spoke at length and said 98 words

(exechange) — Oakland, California, June 27, 2017 — Tim Westergren, chief executive of Pandora, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Pandora Media, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Tim (Tim) Westergren leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the music streaming and automated music recommendation service in a surprising move after about a year on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Pandora will undertake a search for a successor.

Westergren’s duties are taken over in the interim by Naveen Chopra, currently Chief Financial Officer at Pandora Media, Inc.

Westergren’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the positions of President and Chief Marketing Officer.

Westergren will also no longer be a member of the Pandora Board of Directors.

No reason given

In the announcement, Pandora did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Westergren’s sudden move, opening the door for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Westergren was not immediately available.

“Step down”

Pandora said: “Tim Westergren has decided to step down from both his position as Chief Executive Officer and from the board of directors of the Company, effective immediately.”

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Pandora Media, Inc. since February 2014.

On the job as CEO since 2016

Timothy Westergren founded Pandora Media, Inc. in 2000 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since March 25, 2016.

Tim Westergren, one of the Company’s founders, served as the Company’s Chief Creative Officer and Treasurer from February 2000 to May 2002, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President from May 2002 to July 2004, as the Company’s Chief Strategy Officer from July 2004 to February 2014, and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in March 2016.

He has served as a member of the Company’s board of directors from the company’s inception.

Prior to founding Pandora, Westergren worked as an independent musician, composer, and record producer and has over 20 years of experience in the music industry spanning production, audio engineering, film scoring and live performance.

Westergren is an award-winning composer and accomplished musician – trained as a jazz pianist, his musical background spans such genres as rock, blues, jazz and classical music.

Westergren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University, where he studied computer acoustics and recording technology.

Westergren started the popular personalized radio service in 2000 with the Music Genome Project.


As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step aside with no permanent successor available, it is a signal that the change was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Tim Westergren’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 27.2017 ($).