The results of Sirius XM's $450 million investment in Pandora rocked the music streamer on Monday, as news spread that the departure of Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren had come down to not if, but when, and that the company was exiting its only non-U.S. markets.
Pandora is shutting down service in Australia and New Zealand, local media is reporting. Employing 60 staffers, it is the U.S. based music streamer's only overseas operation. Local streamer Guvera closed there in 2016, and Deezer exited Australia in 2017; after each had failed to attract enough listeners and advertisers.
The news came as additional sources confirmed yesterday's reports that the exit of CEO and founder Tim Westergren is imminent. “It’s just a question of how and when,” a source told Billboard. “There’s still internal wrangling.” Some at the company apparently want the popular executive to remain in some capacity as the "heart and soul" of Pandora.
Wall Street Reacts
Overall, Wall Street approved of the moves. On a flat day in the markets, the previously battered Pandora [P] stock rose through most of Monday, closing up 2.27% yesterday at $8.46. Just a week ago, Pandora stock hit a one year low of $6.91.
We'll be watching to see what cuts come next at Pandora, including within its artist friendly Pandor AMP and Next Big Sound divisions, both of which get high marks from both artists and the music industry.