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Pandora

by Micha F. Lindemans
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her and he did, using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many talents; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion, and so forth. Hence her name: Pandora, "all-gifted".

Pandora

When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope.


Article details:

  • Pronunciation:
    pan-dohr'-uh
  • Etymology:
    All gifted
  • Image:
    Pandora

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Pandora, After Shake-Up, Picks New C.E.O.

Photo
Roger Lynch, the chief executive of Sling TV, will join Pandora, the internet radio giant, on Sept. 18. Credit Rick Wilking/Reuters

Pandora Media, the struggling internet radio giant, appointed a new chief executive on Monday, after a shake-up in June that installed SiriusXM as an influential new investor.

Roger Lynch, the chief of the video streaming service Sling TV, will leave that company to become the new chief executive and president of Pandora, and will also join Pandora’s board, according to announcements from both companies. Mr. Lynch will replace Tim Westergren, one of the founders of Pandora, who had served as chief executive for just over a year.

Pandora also announced that Michael Lynton, the chairman of Snap, the company behind the Snapchat app, and the former head of Sony Pictures Entertainment, will join Pandora’s board.

Naveen Chopra, who has served as Pandora’s interim chief executive since June, will continue as chief financial officer.

“I cannot imagine a more important and exciting time to join Pandora,” Mr. Lynch said in a statement. “With a massive, diverse and highly engaged audience, a market-leading digital advertising business, a best-in-class product portfolio and an extremely passionate and talented group of people, Pandora is well-positioned to capture an even greater market opportunity.”

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The changes come at a pivotal moment for Pandora, which for years dominated the internet radio market but has seen its growth stalled — and its stock price lagging — as listeners move to Spotify, Apple Music and elsewhere. In a recent financial report, Pandora said it had 76 million active users, down from a peak of 81 million.

To turn the company around, Mr. Westergren introduced a $10-a-month subscription plan this year to compete with Spotify and Apple. But its introduction was costly and many analysts wondered whether Pandora had waited too long.

In June, Mr. Westergren and other top executives left as Pandora accepted a $480 million investment from SiriusXM, giving that company a 19 percent stake. SiriusXM is controlled by Liberty Media.

The chairman of Pandora’s board is now Roger Faxon, the former chief executive of EMI. In another sign of managerial musical chairs, Tony Vinciquerra, who was on Pandora’s board until June, now has Mr. Lynton’s old job as chairman and chief executive at Sony Pictures.

Mr. Lynch will be Pandora’s fourth chief executive in just over four years. Mr. Westergren took over in early 2016 from Brian P. McAndrews, who in September 2013 was named the successor to Joseph J. Kennedy.

The changes at Pandora came after another prominent shake-up in digital music. Last week SoundCloud replaced its chief executive as part of a $170 million investment that slashed the company’s valuation but saved it from collapse.

Mr. Lynch will take over as Pandora’s chief executive on Sept. 18, the company announced.

Pandora was also careful to establish its new leader’s musical bona fides as a replacement for Mr. Westergren, who frequently spoke about his travails as a member of an indie band.

Mr. Lynch, a company spokeswoman noted in a bullet-pointed list of his attributes, plays lead guitar in a band called the Merger, which is playing at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival over Labor Day weekend.

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