Pandora brings on LinkedIn veteran Hani Durzy

He is overseeing global strategic communications for the streaming music platform.

Hani Durzy (image via his Twitter page)
Hani Durzy (image via his Twitter page)

OAKLAND, CA: Pandora has hired Hani Durzy as VP of strategic communications.

Durzy started on Monday, succeeding Will Valentine. He is reporting to CMO Nick Bartle and overseeing a team of six. The company is also looking for a director of consumer communications and a staffer to handle b-to-b comms.

Durzy is overseeing all global communications, both internal and external, as well as corporate, b-to-b, consumer, product, financial, crisis, and executive comms.

"This is an interesting and exciting time to join the company, given the fact that imminently Pandora will introduce the biggest shift to its product in the company’s history with the introduction of Pandora Premium," he said. "There are a lot of interesting stories to tell, and there is a good team in place to tell them."

Durzy was most recently senior director of corporate communications at LinkedIn, where he worked between November 2010 and June 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. Previously, he was director of U.S. corporate media relations at Hewlett-Packard and a partner at 463 Communications.

Valentine departed Pandora in November after a three-year stint leading the company’s communications and policy teams. Valentine joined Pandora in July 2013 to build and lead the comms function, shortly after the company went public. At the time, Pandora was facing issues including an artist revolt and the pending launch of iTunes Radio.

Valentine joined Lyft last month as VP of communications.

Top executives including CEO Brian McAndrews and CMO Simon Fleming-Wood, who was succeeded by Bartle, left Pandora last March. Melissa Waters, VP of marketing, departed Pandora in fall 2016 to join Lyft as head of marketing.

Pandora’s revenue was up 17% in the fourth quarter of last year to $393 million, beating analysts’ expectations. The biggest part of the company’s revenue was advertising, accounting for $313 million, which increased 16% over Q4 2015.

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