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Pandora’s strategic hire send shares higher

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Pandora’s strategic hire send shares higher

Shares of Pandora (NYSE:P) traded sharply to the upside following the announcement the company would be hiring Brian McAndrews as its new Chief Executive Officer. The former executive at Madrona Venture Group, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and aQuantive, will succeed Joe Kennedy as CEO, president and chairman of Pandora. According to sources behind the deal, McAndrews will be stepping into his  appointment immediately. The move comes months after Kennedy announced his plans to step down from the Internet radio firm. In a statement following the change, Pandora said it sought a candidate to build on Pandora’s leading position in the category.

This news follows a strong second quarter report last month. Pandora generated strong growth amid rising competition from a number of large corporations. The company had revenue of $157.4 million in the quarter, up 55.4% from $89.4 million in the second quarter of last year. Mobile revenue grew 92% to $116 million and accounted for 73.7% of revenue, up from 59.7% a year earlier. Mobile advertising RPM rose 52% on a year over year basis to $33.90.

In the intraday session on Thursday, shares of the company were up by more 11.50% to $23.82 per share. These gains starkly contrast the broad market weakness seen early in the session. Pandora founder and chief strategy officer Tim Westergren stated “No one better understands the intersection of technology and advertising, which [McAndrews] 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.” In the following day it is expected a number of analysts and financial institutions will comment on the deal. In large part their commentary should be positive to reflect the street’s current view. If analysts upgrade the stock, shares could continue further to the upside next week.

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