Pandora has hired Roger Lynch as CEO and president, and a member of its board of directors, effective September 18, 2017.
Naveen Chopra, who has served as Pandora’s interim CEO since June 2017, will continue in his role as chief financial officer.
Lynch was the founding CEO of US-based OTT television platform Sling.tv, which launched in 2015. At Pandora, he succeeds Tim Westergren whose tenure as CEO of the music service ended in June.
Pandora’s current chairman, Roger Faxon, on behalf of the Pandora board, stated “After a thorough and thoughtful search process, we are thrilled to have Roger join us as CEO and a member of our board.
“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 behaviors to further expand and monetize our listening audience.”
“Roger 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. 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.
“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 behaviors to further expand and monetize our listening audience.
“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.”
Prior to Sling TV, Lynch served as executive vice president, Advanced Technologies, for DISH Network and EchoStar Corporations.
“I cannot imagine a more important and exciting time to join Pandora.”
Roger Lynch, Pandora (pictured)
Lynch also served as chairman and CEO of Video Networks International Ltd., a UK based IPTV provider.
Prior to VNIL, Lynch was president and CEO of Chello Broadband in Amsterdam, Netherlands where he led the rollout of consumer broadband services across Europe.
“I cannot imagine a more important and exciting time to join Pandora,” said Lynch. “With a massive, diverse and highly engaged audience, a market-leading digital advertising business, a best-in-class product portfolio and an extremely passionate and talented group of people, Pandora is well-positioned to capture an even greater market opportunity.
“As a lifelong musician and exuberant music fan, this is the perfect opportunity to combine my industry experience with my love for music. I look forward to working with this great team, having a lot of fun, and leading Pandora through its next exciting phase.”
In addition his new role on the Pandora board, Michael Lynton remains Chairman of Snap Inc. – a position he has held since 2016 after joining Snap Inc.’s board in 2013.
“We are also truly excited to welcome Michael Lynton to the Pandora Board,” said Tim Leiweke, who led the search committee on behalf of Pandora’s board of directors.
“Michael is a seasoned executive with strong business acumen and a long track record of leading public companies. He brings critical skills to our Board and will lend valuable counsel as we focus on driving meaningful, long-term value for our shareholders and capturing an increasing share of the music listening audience.”
“I have always admired Pandora for its innovative business and iconic brand, and I’m thrilled to be joining the board.”
Prior to Snap Inc., Lynton served as CEO of Sony Entertainment from 2012 until February 2017, and as chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment for over 13 years.
Prior to his work at Sony, he served as CEO of AOL Europe and president of both AOL International and Time Warner International, and as CEO of Penguin Publishing.
“I have always admired Pandora for its innovative business and iconic brand, and I’m thrilled to be joining the board,” said Lynton. “Pandora has numerous assets that can be leveraged for the benefit of both listeners and shareholders. I look forward to being part of its future.”
Pandora’s active listener base fell to its lowest point in over three years in the second quarter of this year.
According to company filings, Pandora’s monthly active user audience stood at 76m in Q2. That was down 2.1m listeners on the same quarter in 2016, and down 3.4m on the same quarter in 2015.
Its net losses in the first six months of 2017 clocked up to an eye-watering $407.4m – bigger than the $343m net loss it suffered across the whole of 2016.
That included a one-time goodwill impairment write down of $132m related to the net assets of Ticketfly and other one-time expenses related to its recent financing.
Pandora also had to shell out $23.5m on ‘contract termination fees’ .
However, in brighter news, its revenues grew 10% year-on-year to $376.8m inQ2.
Within that figure, advertising revenue bounced 5% year-on-year to $278.2m.Music Business Worldwide