Pandora Media Inc., the company behind the popular internet radio service Pandora, had an up-and-down week on Wall Street following its initial public offering June 15, and CEO Joe Kennedy ’81, who was on hand to help ring the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell, seemed ready to manage expectations with his comments before the IPO, calling it “just one step in the process of building a lasting great company.”
At the same time, Kennedy has envisioned growth opportunities for the company, which draws revenue from advertising and subscriptions. Pandora has 90 million registered users and accounts for about 3 percent of U.S. radio listening, Kennedy told New York Times Dealbook reporter Evelyn Rusli. That should continue to expand, he said, as it becomes easier to access the personalized radio service in cars, homes, and “everywhere people want to use Pandora.”
Kennedy, a veteran executive who previously served as CEO of E-Loan, majored in electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton. The New Jersey native includes a few home-state tracks in his Pandora favorites (see Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes), and last week, Pandora’s hometown of Oakland, Calif., also was eager to claim Kennedy as one of its own, using the company’s success to promote the city as a technology hub. “This is the place where [Kennedy] can find the kind of talent he needs to make his business possible,” Mayor Jean Quan told the Oakland Tribune. “We are proud that Pandora grew up here.”
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