Personal radio service Pandora has a new CEO, and he’s drawn from the advertising industry. Brian McAndrews joins the company from VC firm Madrona, but before that he built up digital advertising company aQuantive before selling it to Microsoft for $6bn in 2007. “No one better understands the intersection of technology and advertising, which he clearly demonstrated during aQuantive’s meteoric rise,” said Pandora founder Tim Westergren in a statement. “He has a recognized ability to set strategy, lead large teams and drive growth and innovation at great scale.” He replaces existing CEO Joe Kennedy, who announced plans to step down in March. Pandora continues to pile resources into its advertising business, with ads accounting for 81.7% of the company’s $157.4m revenues in its last financial quarter. Is an ad veteran what’s needed to drive the company’s business on? The markets clearly think so: shares in Pandora jumped 6% after the news was announced. But McAndrews’ challenge will go beyond ads: his in-tray will be dominated by the upcoming royalty negotiations that will define Pandora’s licensing costs – and its sustainability as a business – for the next few years.

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