Pandora Media Inc. CEO Tim Westergren resigns from being the chief executive officer after the rage over the online radio company’s strategy to downplay the rising popularity of services like Spotify.

Naveen Chopra

Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra was appointed as interim CEO while the company is looking for a replacement to head the company, Oakland, California-based Pandora said Tuesday in a statement.

A former musician, Westergren, 51, who was a co-founder and worked as CEO when the company first inaugurated, was asked to return to the company and head it after his successor Brian McAndrews kept the public dissatisfied with his performance as the company had faced obstacles to keep up with new rivals.

Despite the fact that MsAndrews’s reign did not witness any progress, Westergren, who was expected to save the company, did not offer much either.

“Profitability is going to be a really big focus for the new management team,” said Amy Yong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA in New York. “These are changes that people have been waiting for.”

Pandora also appointed Jason Hirschhorn, a former co-president of MySpace and former chief digital officer at MTV Networks, to join the board. President Mike Herring and Chief Marketing Officer Nick Bartle would not work at the company anymore, the company said.


“Over the past several weeks, the board has taken a number of steps to refocus and reinforce Pandora,” board member Roger Faxon said in the statement. “As listeners continue to move from traditional terrestrial radio to more dynamic and flexible offerings, it is the board’s belief that the transition continues to present a massive opportunity and that Pandora is in an ideal position to capture an increasing share of this audience.”

The new CEO, hopefully, will be expected to work on advertising which would let the company stand out among other rivals as Apple or Spotify, said John Tinker, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. in Rye, New York.

“There’s a large audience out there who will never pay, but they are happy to listen so go after them.” he said. “The CEO stepping down is going to enable Sirius/Liberty to bring in a candidate who is more focused on selling advertising.”