Pandora Founder to Headline Alumni Conference, April 30

Pandora founder Tim Westergren knows the difficulty of transforming creative vision into a viable business.

Pandora, the web-based music-recommendation engine that he developed, may have changed the face of Internet radio, but not without overcoming countless obstacles. This experience will inform Westergren’s opening keynote address at the Haas School’s 2011 alumni conference on Saturday, April 30.

In his talk, titled “The Pandora Story: The Long and Winding Road,” Westergren, currently the company's chief strategy officer, will explain how leadership and perseverance have helped Pandora grow over the past decade.

Dean Rich Lyons will open the conference with an introduction of the day's theme, "Path-Bending Leadership for the New Economy." Lyons will speak on the unsustainability of straight-line paths in today’s business environment and the promise of path-bending approaches in redefining our future.

The morning will continue with four concurrent sessions on nonprofit boards, overconfidence in business, global poverty, and new career paths. Four afternoon sessions will cover branding, teamwork, estate planning, and philanthropy. Attendees will reconvene at 3 p.m. for a session titled “Dot-com, Dot-bomb, Entrepreneurs Soldier On,” in which Andre Marquis, MBA 96, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, will moderate a panel discussion featuring five additional members from the Berkeley MBA class of 1996.

Ken Rosen, chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, will wrap up the conference with an afternoon keynote titled “The Economic and Real Estate Outlook: Will the Recovery Continue?” Rosen will take a detailed look at trends affecting the economy and real estate market on both the national and local stage.

The conference is open to students, staff, faculty, and all Haas School alumni. To register, visit Breakfast, lunch, and parking will be provided.

The April 30 alumni conference is one highlight of MBA reunion weekend activities happening April 28 through May 1. Events include individual career advising, class socials, networking opportunities, reunion class celebrations, a family picnic, and sessions on negotiation principles and revenue models sponsored by the Center for Executive Education. To register for MBA reunion activities, visit

Registration for both events is open through April 18, with discounted prices available through April 1.