Biz Break: Pandora’s old boss is its new boss

Top Of The Order: 

Shaking Up Pandora’s Box: Publicly traded companies just don’t replace their chief executives on a whim. For example, back in 2013, when Joe Kennedy decided it was time to retire after almost a decade as CEO of Oakland-based Pandora Media, the company announced it would launch an extensive search for Kennedy’s replacement. Kennedy stayed on the job for six months before Pandora named Brian McAndrews as its new CEO.

Contrast that with what happened Monday morning when, after the Easter weekend, Pandora surprised everyone by saying McAndrews was out of a job. No warning. No advance notice. No long search period because Pandora said its co-founder and spiritual leader Tim Westergren would be its new CEO.

Westergren is one of the creators of the Music Genome Project, the software algorithm upon which Pandora’s music service is based. He had been Pandora’s CEO from 2002 until 2004, and since then has served in many roles at the company, including chief strategy officer.

Well, if Westergren ever thought he had a strategy for where Pandora should go, he’s going to get his chance to put it into action, now. Pandora is gearing up to launch a subscription music service and it’s moving into the event-ticketing business following its recent, $450 million acquisition of Ticketfly. And Westergren has to hope that he can do something to regain the confidence of Pandora’s investors: On Monday, Pandora shares fell more than 12 percent, to close at $9.60.

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Middle Innings:

Where The Bugs Are: It’s always nice when Apple sends you a notice about an operating system update for your iPhone or iPad. You click “OK” and your gadget does its thing and you don’t even have to think about whatever just happened that will make your iWhatever run even better than before.

Unless, of course, that update throws a bug into your device and now it’s crashing over and over again. Apparently, that’s what has happened to many people’s iPhones and iPads after they performed an update to iOS 9.3, the latest version of Apple’s mobile-device operating system. Reports came in saying that the bug leads to problems opening up links in Safari and other apps on the devices. Apple hasn’t admitted the problem, but, supposedly is working on an update to alleviate the situation.

200 Million Broadcasts Can’t Be Wrong: You can “Facebook” and you can “Instagram,” so, why not make a verb out of “Periscope,” too? Well, in the last year, apparently, 200 million videos have been “Periscoped.” In fact, those 200 million videos have been “Periscoped” in Periscope’s first year, since the service launched in March 2015. These are live streams that have been seen over Periscope’s Android and iOS apps, and don’t include anything seen over Periscope’s or Twitter’s websites.

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Monday.

Movin’ On Up: Ruckus Wireless shares rose more than 5 percent, and gains also came from Chegg, Barracuda Networks, NeoPhotonics and Extreme Networks.

In The Red: We might as well mention Pandora, again, because a 12 percent stock loss is going to get someone’s attention. Other decliners included Glu Mobile, GoPro, LendingClub and QuinStreet, each of which saw their shares fall by at least six percent.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies gave up less than 1 point to close at 1,582.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index shed 6.7 points to end the day at 4,766.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.7 points to 17,535.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained just 1 point to close at 2,037.

Quote Of The Day: “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” — Pete Townshend/The Who, from “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

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Photo:The building that houses Pandora’s headquarters in Oakland, Calif. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)


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