Following the announcement of Pandora’s better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings on Thursday, CEO Joe Kennedy has announced plans to step down from his role at the company.

Kennedy, who has led the company since July 2004, will remain as Chairman, CEO and President during the transition until a successor is found.

“As I near the start of my tenth year at the helm of Pandora, I am incredibly proud of the team and what we have accomplished in redefining radio. As part of our Board discussions of the road that lies ahead, I reached the conclusion and advised the Board that the time is right to begin a process to identify my successor,” he said in a statement.

Prior to joining Pandora, Kennedy worked at E-LOAN as President and CEO and Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing at Saturn.

Pandora says its board has formed a search committee that will turn to an executive search firm for help finding candidates as “expeditiously as possible.”

The Internet radio company reported revenue of $125 million, and a non-GAAP loss per share of $0.04 for the fourth quarter of 2012, besting analyst expectations of $123 million and a $0.05 loss. Mobile in particular was a positive for Pandora, as mobile revenue was up 111% year-over-year to $80.3 million and mobile listening hours increase 70% during the period. Though the company still posted a loss, investors were encouraged by the results, pushing shares of the company up over 19% in after-hours trading.

With over 67 million monthly active listeners, Pandora has grown into a sizable media company under Kennedy’s watch. The company boasts it is the largest radio station in most US markets, with an 8% share of overall radio listening in the country.

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