Pandora Continues to Feed its Talent Pipeline in Atlanta

By Adedamola Agboola

  • Pandora will beat its 250-person target in Atlanta before the end of 2018
  • A family of 4 in San Francisco earning $117,400 or less qualifies as low income

Pandora (P -1.01%) announced plans earlier in the year to make Atlanta its second home. Less than six months into the plan, CEO Roger Lynch said his company’s Atlanta-based positions are being filled faster than he had expected. He now predicts Pandora will beat the 250-person target before the end of the year.

Why This Matters: The music streaming service has followed in the footsteps of firms like Global Payments, First Data, McKesson, Ionic and NexDefense. All of these companies have moved to Atlanta in search of young, diverse talent. Over the past couple of years, the city has emerged as a technology hub on the East Coast. Atlanta was ranked third in 2017 by Forbes as one of America’s next “tech meccas.”

Lynch described Atlanta as a “great music town” with a diverse workforce, strong tech infrastructure and quality universities. The company’s move isn’t just about the needs of its employees but also the talent it has available in the marketplace. Georgia Tech, Emory, Georgia State, Spelman College and Morehouse are graduating more minority and women engineers than any other U.S. colleges.

Opening up a second campus in Atlanta was a no-brainer for Pandora. Back in Oakland, where the company’s headquarters is still located, is ranked fifth among 540 most expensive cities in the world. A recent study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development also found a family of four in the San Francisco Bay Area, earning $117,400 or less, now qualifies as low income.

Situational Awareness: It is also worth noting that Pandora has been struggling to grow its subscriber base thanks to competition from Spotify and Apple Music. The company made its debut on the NYSE at $16 per share in 2011. Today, Pandora’s shares are trading just over $7.

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