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Pandora pulls plug on Australia, New Zealand operations

The internet radio provider's only two non-US markets will be shuttered to focus on expansion at home.

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Pandora is closing its only two non-US operations.

Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Pandora is shutting down its operations in Australia and New Zealand, the only countries where the internet radio operates besides the US.

The Oakland, California-based company said Tuesday the decision to close operations in the two countries was based on a desire to focus more on growth on its home turf. The move comes amid a management shakeup at the company that included the resignation of its chief executive.

Pandora said in a statement it expects to wind down operations Down Under in the next few weeks.

"While our experience in these markets reinforces the broader global opportunity long-term, in the short-term we must remain laser-focused on the expansion of our core business in the United States," Pandora said in a statement.

Earlier Tuesday, Pandora announced the resignation of co-founder and CEO Tim Westergren. The company's financial chief, Naveen Chopra, will become interim CEO as the company seeks a permanent successor. Also departing are two longtime executives: Mike Herring, president and former chief financial officer, and Nick Bartle, chief marketing officer. 

Pandora has been grappling with listeners moving to rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music, which allow on-demand listening to specific tracks. Tuesday's moves, as well as an agreement last month to sell a 19 percent stake in Pandora to SiriusXM for a $480 million infusion, are aimed at helping the company better compete with the upstart music streamers that have overtaken it.

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