Pandora COO Bids Adieu To Oakland

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Outgoing Pandora COO Sara Clemens

Is there something big about to happen at Pandora Media?


With rumors swirling that the streaming media company is again in talks with Sirius XM about a merger and the world still awaiting its much-discussed premium on-demand subscription offering, Sara Clemens has resigned as COO after just eight months on the job.

A “digital media and technology executive with 20 years of leadership and commercial experience in the operation and expansion of high-growth global companies in emerging technology markets,” Clemens came on board at Pandora in March 2014 as Chief Strategy Officer. She took the COO role on March 28, concurrent with the return of Pandora founder Tim Westergren as CEO and the subsequent summertime merger discussions with Sirius XM.

Greg Maffei, who oversees Sirius XM as parent company Liberty Media Corp.’s, was unsuccessful in a July 2016 bid to acquire Pandora at $15 a share. The potential deal fell apart as Pandora argued that the per-share price was too low.

Now, with talks supposedly back on and heading into high gear, Clemens could be early collateral damage from a deal that never happened that could be heading to swift consummation.

Clemens will remain employed by the Company for a transition period to be determined, Pandora noted in an 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made late Tuesday (12/20).

During her two years and eight months at Pandora, Clemens was chiefly responsible for growing and scaling the business, including operation of new ventures. She led the company’s ongoing business strategy, corporate development, international operations and expansion efforts, and human resources.

Clemens was also the driving force behind Pandora’s Music Maker Group, which “drives the development of tools that enable artists to promote and market their music, creates opportunities for fan engagement via live events and original content, and helps music makers understand the benefits of these interactions via Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP).”

Under Clemens’ strategy, Pandora in October 2015 acquired Ticketfly to extend its Music Maker offering and reimagine the live music business.

A native of New Zealand, Clemens served as “Executive In Residence” at Greylock Partners, which has a portfolio including Pandora, from Sept. 2013 through Feb. 2014. Before that, she held the role of VP/Corporate Development at LinkedIn. She was also the GM of Interactive Entertainment (Xbox) at Microsoft Corp., and has held several roles at Telecom New Zealand.

Billboard named Clemens one of the “50 most powerful women executives in music” in 2015.