Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

  • Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

Pandora CEO Tim Westergren departs

Tim Leiweke, a Pandora board member, explained that it was Westergren's decision to leave the company.

Pandora's competitor Spotify had no comment on Westergren's departure; Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music - companies which Westergren spent much of 2016 repairing relationships with - did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pandora is reportedly set to become the latest music streaming platform to cease operations in Australia and New Zealand.

And the hits keep coming: this week CEO and co-founder Tim Westergren also stepped down, as did chief marketing officer Nick Bartle and president Mike Herring.

"We expect the new CEO of (Pandora) to come from (Sirius) directly, or from John Malone's extensive rolodex", Needham & Co analyst Laura Martin wrote in a note.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, who is also chairman of Sirius XM, touted the opportunity to increase ad revenue, saying Liberty has "long recognized the strength of the Pandora brand and the opportunities in the ad-supported digital radio market".

The move comes amid rapid changes in the music business.

Pandora Premium, an on-demand music streaming service set to compete with Spotify and Apple Music, was not made available in Australia after launching in the USA earlier in the year. At the same time, Pandora also sold Ticketfly to Eventbrite for $200 million, well below the $335 million it paid for the ticket-distribution service in 2015.

Now, it is also offering a full on-demand service to directly compete with Spotify and Apple Music. SiriusXM controls three of Pandora's eight board seats.

Earlier this year, Pandora rolled out its version of a subscription service. The company, which went public in 2011, amassed almost 80 million listeners each month, and built a substantial online advertising business, topping $1 billion past year.

"We invented a whole new way of enjoying and discovering music and in doing so, forever changed the listening experience for millions", Westergren said in a statement. The company believes it is well placed to capture an increasing share of this audience.