Pandora Media Inc Announces Hiring Of New Strategy Chief

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Sara Clemens, the former Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive who helped take the Xbox from its origins as a gaming console to its place as a powerful multimedia hub globally, has been hired by Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) to fill the role of chief strategy officer.

Who is she?

Ms. Clemens will be reporting directly to new CEO Brian McAndrews who took the reins of the company last year. Pandora founder Tim Westergren held the position of strategy chief before the hiring of Clemens. Neither Westergren nor Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) responded to messages from CNET today.

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s future success hinges on two items: broad device integration and international expansion. The former means that Pandora needs to be available on every possible device as they enter the market. Not simply desktops, tablets, and phones, but gaming consoles, cars, and smart TVs.

Also Monday, Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) said it hired Kristen Robinson in the newly created role of chief human resources officer, to lead that division of Pandora’s operations in global offices. Pandora’s international expansion is easier said that done. Spotify and iTunes directly license music from record labels whereas Pandora licenses music through a US statute for digital radio.

Pandora international expansion

As a result, Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) has a limited reach with only two markets outside of the United States. Those markets are Australia and New Zealand. Clemons has been a bit of a mercenary recently having served a six month stint at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Prior to that she was vice president of corporate development at LinkedIn.

Clemons was at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for five years culminating in her work expanding the Xbox across a broad range of international markets, including Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Greater Asia Pacific

In a statement, Clemens highlighted Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s ability to make money off of internet radio due to  “deep business relationships and unmatched user base,” and said that she’s looking forward to “the next chapter of Pandora’s incredible growth story.”

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