Report: Pandora CEO Expected to Step Down

Pandora Media CEO Tim Westergren participates in a discussion during the eighth annual "State of the Net" tech policy conference of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee January 17, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Tim Westergren, the co-founder and CEO of the music streaming service Pandora, plans to step down from his post, according to reports.

Recode reported Sunday that Westergren, who took the reins of the Oakland-based company again last year after a three-year break, does not have a replacement CEO lined up. Westergren is expected to stay in the post until a suitable candidate has been found, according to Recode's sources.

Founded in 2000 as a way to provide individualized "radio stations" based on musical preferences, Pandora was an early streaming music provider that eventually attracted 80 million subscribers, thanks to its free web-based service. The company also made headlines for being aggressive in securing affordable streaming rights, sometimes at the expense of the artists behind the music on the site. In 2013, after a public campaign by opponents, Pandora stopped pushing for legislation that would slash royalty payments to artists.

In the wake of streaming music options having multiplied, with Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Tidal, Pandora has struggled. In March of this year, Pandora unveiled "Pandora Premium," its conversion of the Rdio app that Pandora acquired in 2015. Last month, it appeared possible that Pandora would be bought out by Sirius XM; instead, the satellite radio service bought a stake in Pandora for $480 million.

Westergren served as Pandora's CEO from 2002 to 2013 before being replaced by Brian McAndrews, a former product manager at General Mills Inc. Westergren took back the role in 2016.

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Representatives from Pandora have yet to comment on the reports of Westergren's decision.

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