Pandora’s stockholders have just approved SiriusXM’s $3.5 billion acquisition of the digital music company, which now involves the exit of Pandora CEO Roger Lynch and the installation of SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer in his place.
Following a special stockholder meeting on Tuesday in which 97 percent of votes cast were in favor of the transaction, Pandora announced via press release that Lynch — who has run Pandora since September 2017, taking it from dire straits to a profitable audio and advertising enterprise — will step down from the company once the deal officially goes through. Pandora’s chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson and general counsel Steve Bene will also depart the company, leaving Meyer in charge of the new, combined entity. “The transaction is expected to close shortly, subject to customary closing conditions,” Pandora wrote in a note to investors. “Assuming completion of the transaction, shares of Pandora common stock are expected to be delisted from trading on the New York Stock Exchange.”
The executive departures were not previously announced as part of the takeover deal. When SiriusXM revealed last fall that it was buying the smaller digital media company to form one major audio-entertainment enterprise, both Lynch and Meyer highlighted the “significant opportunities” in joining together the two services’ distinct offerings — Sirius’s business has historically been focused in cars, while Pandora users are more spread out across computers, phones and other audio devices — but did not note leadership changes in the companies themselves.
“We think there’s a big opportunity in what we call internally the ‘new era of audio,'” Lynch, speaking about Pandora’s product plans, told Rolling Stone last year. “Think of all these devices like smart speakers growing in popularity and the growth of new audio formats like podcasting. You have to broaden content beyond just music.”