Jon Kraft

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Jon Kraft
Alma materStanford University (1988)
OccupationBusiness executive
Years active1989-present

Jon Kraft is an American business executive best known as a co-founder of Pandora Media, Inc. and its former CEO.[1][2] He also co-founded Thrively, LiftOff, Big Stage Entertainment and Stanford Technology Group. Additionally, he has previously worked for a number of technology companies including, Oracle Corporation, CoreObjects Software, Ubermedia, and Auryn, Inc.[3] He currently serves as the Chairman of Thrively, managing partner of LiftOff LLC and the Chief Executive Officer of MuMo, Inc.

Early life and education[edit]

Kraft was born in Brooklyn and raised in Plainview, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University.[4]: 21 [5] From 1989 to 1992, he worked for Oracle Corporation as a Senior Technical Analyst.[6]


Stanford Technology Group[edit]

In 1993, Kraft started his first company, Stanford Technology Group, which developed analytical software and consulted to Fortune 500 companies on the design and implementation of large database management systems. He served as its Vice President until it was acquired by Informix Corporation in 1995. At Informix, Kraft served as the Director of Business Development and Product Marketing for two years.[6]

Pandora Media[edit]

In 1999 Jon Kraft along with Will Glaser and Tim Westergren founded Pandora Media as Savage Beast Technologies in Oakland, California with the idea of The Music Genome Project, a mathematical algorithm to organize music.[7] He served as its founding Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2002. He, along with the other developers, patented the Music Genome Project: software that uses a mathematical algorithm that attempts to predict a person's musical taste based on a small musical sampling,[8] and is covered by United States Patent No. 7,003,515.[4]: 96 

Big Stage Entertainment, Thrively and other works[edit]

In 2002, Kraft joined at CoreObjects Software and served as the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing until 2005. He co-founded Big Stage Entertainment along with Jonathan Strietzel and Jon Snoddy and served as its Chief Operating Officer from 2006 and 2010.[9] The company was named by Forbes in 2009 as one of “America’s 20 Most Promising Companies.” [10] From 2010 to 2012, Kraft served as Chief Operating Officer of Ubermedia, an independent developer of social mobile applications and was a member of the founding team.[11]

He previously served as a member of advisory board at Minerals Corporation Limited since April 2016.[12]


  1. ^ "Origin Story: The Founding of Pandora Radio". Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "Etsy's Founder, Written Out of History, Is Not Alone". Bloomberg. March 6, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Lindner, Melanie (September 16, 2009). "America's 20 Most Promising Young Companies". Forbes. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Wasserman, Noam (2012-03-25). The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1400841936.
  5. ^ Wasserman, Noam (25 March 2012). The Silicon Valley Startup Dream. ISBN 9781400841936. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Jon Kraft - Executive Profile". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  7. ^ "When we were small: Pandora". Washington Post. February 6, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  8. ^ "Silicon Beach@USC focuses on next-level technology". USC News. October 20, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  9. ^ "Big Stage - Team". Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  10. ^ "In Depth: Meet America's 20 Most Promising Young Companies". Forbes. December 17, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  11. ^ "Everything you need to know about". 19 October 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  12. ^ Chang, Olivia (April 19, 2016). "One of the Pandora founders has joined the board of this ASX-listed company running a global talent quest". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved November 29, 2016.