This is a very sad day for Pandora, and for me personally. Today we reduced our staff from 140 to 120 employees. Like virtually every company, Pandora is not immune to the challenges presented by the current economic turmoil. We are trying to react quickly and responsibly to the new environment.
We cherish our employees. We have painstakingly built a team that I am tremendously proud of – there’s not a person in our company who hasn’t contributed substantially to what we do, and who we are. The twenty folks we let go today were no exception.
I started this company nine years ago. I lived through some very tough times back in 2001-2002. But letting go of an employee will, for me at least, always be the most gut-wrenching thing there is. We tried our best today to treat these friends and colleagues with great understanding, and with as much financial support for their transition as we can afford.
There are tough times ahead for the economy, but our listenership is growing rapidly, the Internet radio royalty rate resolution seems finally near, and the explosion of mobile devices like the iPhone are opening up a world of opportunity for internet radio to expand off the desktop. Moreover, our ad sales are growing so well that, not only did we not make any reductions there, we need to continue to hire more.
It’s just hard to be excited about all that today.
Tim (Founder)


  1. Geraud Gonzales
    October 17, 2008 at 2:22pm
    Tim, I am a student at Boston University and I am writing a feature on Pandora Radio/ The Music Genome Project. I absolutely love your work and have tried to spread and promote it as much as possible. It is unfortunate to hear of the recent layoffs. I would love to ask you a few questions regarding your history with MGP and Pandora and the future of the company. I feel it would help my feature greatly and also help the Boston community get to know you better. Please let me know if you would be willing to answer a few questions via email. sincerely, geraud gonzales
  2. melvin
    October 17, 2008 at 2:55pm
    As a CEO of a small business in Texas, I understand your sadness. Our employees are what has made our business what it is today. Just had one employee celebrate her 20th anniversary with us and my wife a I presented her and her spouse a vacation to Europe. I am new to Pandora and am using it on my new i phone. I cant believe that a 62 year old could be so high tech. Your format is great, keep up the good work. Times will be better. I have been thru three economic slowdowns and this is probably the worst of the three but our country is strong and will rebound. Hang in there. I feel your emotions for your employees. Good Luck
  3. Ken
    October 17, 2008 at 4:07pm
    I hate hearing this, but it is the nature of business all too often. It is refreshing to hear that Pandora is doing their best to ease those let go, rather than some that just hand out a small severance check and wish them luck as the door swings shut. I listen to Pandora Radio all the time at work and at home. I have discovered so many excellent new bands that I would hardly have ever been exposed to otherwise. I wish the best for the group and know that you have adoring fans.
  4. Dave Cortright
    October 17, 2008 at 4:16pm
    That's too bad, Tim. I was going to apply for the lead Interaction Designer role, but I see now that it has been removed from your Jobs page. Speaking of which, it seems a bit odd that you have any job positions still open right after a layoff, no? That's gotta make the people who were laid off not feel so great.
  5. Steve Peace
    October 17, 2008 at 4:26pm
    Hello, Sorry to hear about the layoffs. You're probably in no mood to entertain ideas about expanding your product capabilities. But here goes. How about integration with a concert tracking service such as SongKick? Most of those services integrate with iTunes, but I'd love for concert recommendations to come out of your music recommendation engine.
  6. Kathy Evans
    October 17, 2008 at 7:17pm
    Tim, I love you guys and I always have. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help-
  7. Paul
    October 17, 2008 at 7:29pm
    Oh, dang; I was about to ask for a job, ha... If you ever need a web-master or have any positions available, let me know!
  8. smokerock
    October 17, 2008 at 11:48pm
    Hey you should attach some interface to the user generated stations that allows the user to purchase the last hour of the playlist.
  9. Dennis
    October 18, 2008 at 7:15am
    So very sorry to hear of the required cutbacks in personnel there. I discovered Pandora quite by accident and I listen to you every time my computer is turned on! I've spread the word to everybody I talk to! Even on my 15-minute break at work I turn you on! I hope for better times and that your staff understands...keep up the GREAT work!!!! All the best, Dennis
  10. megan
    October 18, 2008 at 7:27am
    tim, thank you for holding that pain of losing people and not running away from it. thank you for being an employer that feels that and sees each person as an integral part of your company. i think it is this aspect of true care that i can see in pandora. loving it so much makes sense now.

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