Pandora is preparing to do battle - with publishers, record labels, Congress, regulators and in the courts; and to strengthen their position their adding music industry fire power top to their board on directors.
Pandora today that former AEG Ceo Tim Leiweke has been elected and former EMI CEO Roger Faxon has been nominated for election to the company’s board of directors.
The move comes at a time that Pandora is facing pressure on multiple fronts that could upend its already fragile business model. Artists, publishers and some record labels are pushing for higher royalty rates; and court actions, new bills in Congress and advance opinions from regulators all point to Pandora having to pay more.
Thus, Faxon and Leiweke.
"I could not be more excited for Roger and Tim to join the board. Both are forward-thinking and bring invaluable expertise to help Pandora play a leading role in the evolution of the music industry,” said Brian McAndrews, chairman and CEO of Pandora in a statement announcing the board additions. "Roger’s deep knowledge of the music business and Tim’s experience in entertainment will provide unique insights as we continue to deliver music our listeners love and new tools to help music makers thrive.”
With these additions, Robert Kavner and David Sze will conclude their tenures on the company’s board on June 4, 2015, the day of the annual meeting of stockholders. Kavner has served on Pandora’s board since March 2004 while Sze has served since May 2009.
More on Pandora's two new directors from the official release:
Leiweke has more than 30 years of sports and entertainment experience. He currently serves as CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and prior to this, was CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). In his first year at the helm of MLSE, Leiweke led a transformation of the company, which included key leadership hires and the recruitment of star players across the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer(MLS) and National Hockey League (NHL). In his time at AEG, he created an organization capable of developing, producing, promoting and marketing sports and entertainment programming. It was his vision and executive guidance that resulted in the global expansion of AEG as well as the development of major entertainment arenas such as the StubHub Center, L.A. LIVE and the O2 Arena and Entertainment District in London. Under his leadership, the company also launched its first consumer entertainment platform, AXS Ticketing as well as AXS TV, a cable channel focused on entertainment and lifestyle programming.
Faxon has spent his career leading creative businesses. From 1994 through 2012, he held various positions with the EMI Group, which before its sale in 2012, was among the largest music businesses in the world. During his tenure at EMI, Faxon served as CFO of the Group and CEO of the company’s Music Publishing division, ultimately rising to become CEO of the Group. Prior to joining EMI, he served as CEO of Sotheby’s Europe, was Senior Executive Vice President of Columbia and Sony Pictures and COO of Lucasfilm Ltd. Faxon currently owns and leads A&R Investments, a diversified investment and consulting firm focused on the media and communications industries. He also serves on the Boards of ITV PLC, The Songwriters Hall of Fame, The John Hopkins University, and is on the Council of The Brookings Institution.