News Column

Pandora CEO to Step Down After 10 Years

March 8, 2013

George Avalos

Pandora Media's chief executive, Joseph Kennedy, will resign his post as the online music station's top boss, the company said Thursday.

Kennedy's decision to quit came on the same day the Internet radio service announced results that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Oakland-based Pandora's shares soared more than 20 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement of the financial results and the disclosure of the pending departure of Kennedy, who has completed nearly 10 years as the top boss.

During the quarter that ended Jan. 31, Pandora lost $14.6 million on revenue of $125.1 million. In the year-ago quarter, it lost $8.2 million. Revenue rose 54 percent.

The results beat

Wall Streets views.

Excluding one-time items, Pandora lost 4 cents a share. Analysts had expected a loss of 5 cents and revenue of $122.8 million. Advertising revenue rose 51 percent and climbed to $109 million. Advertising from subscriptions jumped 74 percent and reached $16.1 million.

Pandora's stock soared 21 percent in after-hours trading.

"I am incredibly proud of the team and what we have accomplished in redefining radio," Kennedy said in a prepared release.

The new CEO faces plenty of challenges, said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Campbell-based Creative Strategies.

"This space is getting more and more competitive," Bajarin said. "There are rumors that Apple

(AAPL) and Google (GOOG) may enter this space. This probably is the right time for them to find a CEO that could help them grow in the face of the increased competition."

Kennedy will stay until a successor is found.

"The challenge for Pandora is to be more innovative," Bajarin said.


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Source: (c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services