Hani Durzy leaves Pandora after seven months to lead comms for Samsung Next

Since Durzy joined Pandora in February, he's worked on a CEO transition and other major changes.

SAN JOSE, CA: After a seven-month stint as Pandora’s VP of strategic communications, Hani Durzy has departed the music-streaming company to lead comms for Samsung Next.

Durzy stepped into the newly created role of VP and head of comms on July 31. He is reporting to Jacopo Lenzi, SVP at Samsung Next, the division of the South Korean tech conglomerate that focuses on product innovation.

At Samsung Next, formerly the Samsung Global Innovation Center, Durzy is working closely with agency partner Text100 in the U.S. He is developing a strategic comms function designed to increase the awareness and reputation of Samsung Next as a driver of new technologies.

"The opportunity at Samsung Next is fascinating and exciting in that it combines the opportunity to work with smart people on really interesting cutting-edge technologies for a division of a company that is woven into the fabric of everyday life," Durzy said.

His last day at Pandora was July 28. The music-streaming service has not yet named a replacement for Durzy, said Stephanie Barnes, who was promoted to Pandora’s director of corporate communications in April. Barnes said there have been no other changes to the comms or marketing teams at Pandora.

Durzy started at Pandora at the end of February, succeeding Will Valentine, who left the company after three years to join Lyft as VP of communications. Durzy was responsible for overseeing all global communications, both internal and external, as well as corporate, b-to-b, consumer, product, financial, crisis, and executive comms.

Since Durzy joined Pandora, cofounder Tim Westergren stepped down as CEO at the end of June, and Naveen Chopra, chief financial officer, took the helm as interim CEO. Several other executives have left Pandora in the last 18 months. Last March, CEO Brian McAndrews and CMO Simon Fleming-Wood departed, as did VP of marketing Melissa Waters, who joined Lyft as head of marketing.

SiriusXM said in June that it would invest $480 million into Pandora for 16% ownership of the company.

In the second quarter, Pandora posted better-than-expected financial results with revenue of $376.8 million, up 10% from the year prior. Advertising revenue grew 5% year-over-year, while its subscription revenue was up 25% year-over-year.

Before joining Pandora, Durzy was 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.

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