Roger Lynch will lead Pandora after the Californian company cleared the decks for another push into the crowded digital music market.
With effect from September 18, Lynch becomes CEO and president of the Internet radio service, and a member of its board of directors, Lynch succeeds Tim Westergren, the founder, CEO and the face of the Pandora brand, who exited in June along with company president Mike Herring and chief marketing officer Nick Bartle as the company shut down its Australasian affiliate, its sole international experiment to date. The service officially shut down on July 31.
Lynch brings with him a CV rammed with digital and streaming experience. He joins from U.S.-based subscription web-TV platform Sling.tv, which he founded in 2015 and currently serves with as CEO. Prior to that, Lynch was executive vice president, Advanced Technologies, for DISH Network and EchoStar Corporations and he served as chairman and CEO of Video Networks International Ltd., a U.K.-based IPTV provider. Earlier, he was president and CEO of Chello Broadband in Amsterdam, Netherlands where he is said to have pioneered the pan-European rollout of consumer broadband services.
Pandora’s chairman, the former EMI executive Roger Faxon, is confident the company landed the right exec to guide the company. “After a thorough and thoughtful search process, we are thrilled to have Roger join us as CEO and a member of our board.”
Lynch “brings a stellar leadership reputation, a wealth of consumer experience and a lifelong passion for music to Pandora – all of which are critical ingredients in the continued evolution of our company,” Faxon adds. “We are absolutely confident that Roger is the right leader for Pandora who can create value for shareholders by marrying Pandora’s numerous assets with the opportunities ahead.”
With Lynch’s arrival, Naveen Chopra, who has served as Pandora’s interim CEO since June, will slot back into his role as chief financial officer.
Pandora is coming out of a frenetic backroom period. In June, SiriusXM’s parent company Liberty Media announced it would invest $480 million for a 16 per cent stake in Pandora after merger negotiations collapsed. On the same day Pandora sold its ticketing concern Ticketfly to Eventbrite for $200 million, well down on its purchase price less than two years earlier.
Faxon reiterated the company’s commitment to digital radio
“As I have said before, with ‘digital radio’ at the core of our business, and both ‘Plus’ and ‘Premium’ as new, integral parts of our arsenal, Pandora is now in an ideal position to leverage changing consumer behaviours to further expand and monetise our listening audience,” he said in Monday’s statement. “We are very excited to welcome Roger as our CEO as we embark on our next chapter with renewed focus, a strong balance sheet, a strategic partnership with SiriusXM, and an incredible team of loyal and creative employees.”
Pandora also announced it is adding to its board Michael Lynton, the chairman of Snapchat’s owner Snap Inc. and former head of Sony Pictures.