Pandora Names Brian McAndrews the New CEO

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Brian McAndrews

Shares surged following the announcement Wednesday.

Shares of Pandora Media surged Wednesday after the digital music company announced it had hired as its new CEO Brian McAndrews, a former top executive at online advertising firm aQuantive.

Pandora shares rose 5 percent to $21.38 during the regular session Wednesday, then advanced another 8 percent after the closing bell.

McAndrews replaced CEO Joe Kennedy, who stated in March he would step down from the post but remain with the company until a successor was named.

"We had very specific criteria for our new CEO, and we were very strategic about finding the right person -- Brian is that person," said Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder and chief strategy officer.

McAndrews held senior positions at General Mills and ABC, as well as a small digital ad agency called Avenue A before his stint as CEO of aQuantive, which Microsoft purchased for $6 billion in 2007. However, five years later, the giant software firm took a $6.2 billion write-down that it said was mostly related to its acquisition of aQuantive.