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Pandora CEO steps down as SiriusXM takeover goes ahead

By | Published on Thursday 31 January 2019


Pandora CEO Roger Lynch, along with several other senior execs at the US streaming company, is stepping down. This follows American satellite broadcaster SiriusXM’s takeover of the streaming platform, which was approved by Pandora’s other shareholders earlier this week.

Sirius announced a deal to buy Pandora last September. It had been a long time coming, with Sirius frequently tipped as a bidder for the digital music firm, which – like most key players in the streaming music market – has struggled to make a profit from its large user-base. In 2017 Sirius bought a significant slice of the Pandora company. Now the two firms will properly merge.

The combined Sirius/Pandora will be looking for economies of scale to reduce the overheads of both its radio and personalised radio businesses. The initial cost-savings will come from combining the two companies’ senior management teams.

Which basically means various senior Pandora execs departing, including Lynch. Also stepping down as the deal is done will be Pandora’s General Counsel Steve Bene, Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra and Chief HR Office Kristen Robinson.

Sirius CEO Jim Meyer will now sit atop both sides of the business. Above him will be parent company Liberty Media, which owns 71% of the Sirius company. It, of course, also has interests in other music related outfits, most notably a 34% stake in Live Nation.

Outlining the technicalities of the Sirius/Pandora deal, a statement from the company on Tuesday said: “The transaction is expected to close shortly, subject to customary closing conditions. Assuming completion of the transaction, shares of Pandora common stock are expected to be delisted from trading on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result of the transaction, among other things, each share of Pandora common stock will be converted into 1.44 newly issued shares of Sirius XM common stock”.

“Sirius XM common stock”, it then added, “will continue to trade under the existing ticker symbol ‘SIRI’ on the Nasdaq Global Select Market”. I wonder how Siri feels about that. It’s alright, I bet she’s a secret Pandora user. You know, whenever Tim’s not looking.