Pandora Taps Former Microsoft Exec Brian McAndrews as New CEO

Ends six-month search

Pandora has ended its six-month search for a CEO, tapping former Microsoft executive Brian McAndrews to lead the Internet radio service.

McAndrews brings a 20-year resume to the Oakland, Calif.-based tech firm that—in addition to Microsoft—includes mostly directorial positions with names as different as General Mills, The New York Times, Walt Disney and Seamless. While he was most recently at AppNexus, where he also served as director for the last year, his most recent chief executive role was with aQuantive from 1999 to 2007.

The marketing vet will be charged with bettering the digital radio brand's sometimes tumultuous relationship with musicians while ramping up Pandora's ad business. And considering Apple's forthcoming iTunes Radio service, McAndrews certainly has his work cut out for him.

Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder and chief strategy officer, lauded McAndrew's track record. "We had very specific criteria for our new CEO, and we were very strategic about finding the right person—Brian is that person," he said in a statement. "No one better understands the intersection of technology and advertising, which he clearly demonstrated during aQuantive's meteoric rise."

McAndrew's predecessor, Joe Kennedy, left last March after the company's revenue spiked by 54 percent to $125 million during 2012's fourth quarter.

So despite McAndrew's challenges, he inherits a Pandora that seems to be on an uptick. The company's stock price has jumped by more than $8 in the last six months, and finished at $21.38 in daytime trading today.