Pandora names former Microsoft executive as CEO
Brian McAndrews replaces Joe Kennedy who said in March he was leaving the streaming music company
Former Microsoft executive and venture capitalist Brian McAndrews is to take over as president, chairman and CEO of Pandora Media. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Mr McAndrews (54) replaces Joe Kennedy who announced in March he was leaving the online streaming music company.
“What brought me here is the opportunity. We mostly want to focus on customers and what they want and innovate for them,” Mr McAndrews said.
Pandora founder Tim Westergren said the company was looking for someone with a background in technology and advertising, the main source of revenue for Pandora.
Mr McAndrews was the president and CEO of the digital advertising company aQuantive that was later acquired by Microsoft for $6 billion in 2007. Mr McAndrews took on the role of senior vice president of Microsoft, a position he held until 2008.
Prior to that he was an executive with ABC in its sports, entertainment and television divisions. He most recently was a managing partner at Madrona Venture Group, a firm that specialises in early stage technology companies. He serves as a director on the board of the New York Times Co.
Mr McAndrews joins Pandora as the company has ballooned in popularity with more than 72 million active listeners who have turned it into the world’s largest online radio service.
At the same time, it is trying to grow advertising revenue and tamp down the costs of licensing music since the more people who listen to the service, the more expensive it becomes to legally access millions of songs. The company is involved in a high profile push to get congress to change how royalties are paid to artists.
The Oakland, California-based company said in August during its quarterly results that the rising cost of acquiring music and the expansion of its sales force would push its 2014 earnings below analyst expectations. (Reuters)