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Pandora Media snaps up former Microsoft exec Brian McAndrews as new CEO

US based Internet radio and music streaming service Pandora has snapped up former Microsoft exec and venture capitalist Brian McAndrews as the firm's new president, CEO and chairman.

McAndrews succeeds Joe Kennedy who announced his departure from the company in March.

"What brought me here is the opportunity. We mostly want to focus on customers and what they want and innovate for them," McAndrews told Reuters.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren said the appointment was made as the company sought someone with experience of both technology and advertising, which is Pandora's main revenue stream.

Pandora has greatly grown in popularity over the last few years, and is now the world's largest online radio service with 72 million active listeners.

However, the growing demand has meant rocketing costs of licensing music as more people listen, prompting the need for greater advertising revenue.

The company is currently embroiled in a push to get the US Congress to change the way artists are paid royalties, and it has been forced to limit access to the site from worldwide to just the US, Australia and New Zealand.

McAndrews previously held the position of president and CEO at digital advertising agency aQuantive which was acquired by Microsoft in 2007, when he then became a senior vice president at Microsoft.

Since leaving Microsoft in 2008, he has served as a managing partner at Madrona Venture Group, which invests in tech startups.

Pandora was founded in 2000 as a service similar to, one of its growing threats is now the increasingly crowded music streaming market, with nearly every tech giant jumping in to offer a service following the success of Spotify.

Image credit: Flickr (Mr. T in DC)