Pandora announced that the its board appointed Brian McAndrews, formerly of Madrona Venture Group, Microsoft and aQuantive, to succeed Joe Kennedy as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman, effective immediately.
In its search for a new CEO, the Board sought a candidate who could build on Pandora’s leading position in internet radio and accelerate its fast-growing advertising business.
“We had very specific criteria for our new CEO, and we were very strategic about finding the right person — Brian is that person,” said Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder and chief strategy officer. “No one better understands the intersection of technology and advertising, which he clearly demonstrated during aQuantive’s meteoric rise. He has a recognized ability to set strategy, lead large teams and drive growth and innovation at great scale. He is also a natural cultural fit with Pandora. This is a great development for our company.”
Following senior positions at General Mills and ABC, McAndrews, took over Avenue A, a small digital agency in Seattle in 1999, and as President and CEO built it into aQuantive, the fastest-growing digital marketing company in the world at the time. aQuantive was subsequently acquired by Microsoft for $6 billion in 2007. After serving as a senior vice president at Microsoft and running Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions group, McAndrews joined Madrona as an investing partner in 2009, focusing on early-stage technology companies. In addition to his work at Madrona, McAndrews currently serves on the boards of The New York Times Co., Grubhub Seamless and AppNexus.
McAndrews was recognized as Advertising Age’s first-ever “Digital Executive of the Year” and he was designated one of the 30 most influential executives in the advertising, marketing and media world in Adweek’s 30th Anniversary issue.
“It is a great privilege to be asked to lead Pandora at this important moment in the company’s history,” said McAndrews. “By capturing the enthusiasm of more than 72 million monthly listeners, the management team, led by Joe and Tim, has made Pandora the clear internet radio leader and created a product that consumers love. I look forward to joining this great team to build on Pandora’s success for years to come.”
The announcement concludes a transition process that began when Kennedy announced his decision to retire in March.