Online music streaming service Pandora recently reinstated its 40-hour limit on monthly mobile usage for free users. Now, the company is in headlines again as its CEO, Joe Kennedy, announced he is stepping down during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.
"My heart is still 100 percent in Pandora (News - Alert)," he said in the call. "But as I approach the start of my tenth year, my head is telling me. It is time to get to a recharging station sooner rather than later."
The company’s stock jumped 20 percent after the news broke. Kennedy has helped the digital radio company grow to 67 million monthly active users with total revenue of $427.1 million in 2013, with $255.9 million of that from mobile revenue.
Pandora commands eight percent of all radio listening, and advertising revenue of $109 million amounted to a 51-percent increase over the fourth quarter a year ago.
"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Joe for his leadership, dedication and innumerable contributions to Pandora,” Robert Kavner, Pandora’s lead independent director, said in a statement. “During his tenure, Joe and his management team created a terrific business from the ground up, and, through his stewardship during the formative stages of Internet radio, Pandora now leads with 70 percent market share. We appreciate his continued strong leadership and dedication to the company through this process.”
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“As I near the start of my tenth year at the helm of Pandora, I am incredibly proud of the team and what we have accomplished in redefining radio," Kennedy said in the release. "As part of our Board discussions of the road that lies ahead, I reached the conclusion and advised the Board that the time is right to begin a process to identify my successor.”Kennedy said he will remain CEO, chairman and president and help his replacement transition "no matter how long that process takes."