Pandora Media's CEO Tim Westergren to step down

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

The departures signal a larger influence of SiriusXM, which recently bought a 19 percent stake in the company, and leaves the money-losing company's fate uncertain. Pandora confirmed the changes, and added that Westergren would also be removed from the firm's board of directors, effective immediately. During his brief return as CEO, Westergren negotiated the direct licensing deals necessary to launch Pandora's on-demand streaming tier, though it has continued to struggle with profitability.

President Mike Herring and CMO Nick Bartle will also be exiting the company as part of the shakeup.

Now all three are gone.

Pandora Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra was named interim CEO while the board conducts a search for a new chief executive. Pandora was also late to the game in introducing a true, on-demand and ad-free subscription streaming service, and finally launched its $10-a-month Pandora Premium offering in March of this year. Pandora, under intensifying pressure from Spotify and Apple Music, said Tuesday that CEO Tim Westergren has stepped down from that role.

"I believe Pandora is perfectly poised for its next chapter", he said.

After taking over as chief executive in March 2016, Mr. Westergren began an ambitious effort to remake the service, but analysts anxious that it may have come too late. Pandora is a social music app for smartphones. At the same time, Pandora announced it would unload Ticketfly - the ticketing startup it paid $335.3 million in stock and cash for in 2015 - to Eventbrite for $200 million. Maffei may have eventually moved to force Westergren's resignation.

Jason Hirschhorn, an influential media-industry exec, is joining Pandora's board.

"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.

Pandora announced a series of changes to its executive management today.

Earlier this month, Pandora inked a deal with Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

Trader Daniel Ryan, left, and Robert Charmak work at the post that handles Pandora on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. The company probably is worth less than even 1 times sales - or less than $1.5 billion- due to the risk of dilution. The reason: the business model may be flawed because Pandora's product might work better as a bundle within a much bigger service.

Latest News