One of the music industry’s most powerful players says his “job is done” as Irving Azoff leaves Live Nation as well as the Front Line Management Group, effective immediately.
Azoff, whose artist-management clients include Eagles and Christina Aguilera, was chairman of Live Nation and CEO of the company’s Front Line Management Group. As CEO of Ticketmaster, Azoff was a key player in that company’s merger with Live Nation, completed in 2010.
Azoff’s departure also means investor Liberty Media Corporation will have a larger piece of Live Nation. Coinciding with his leaving, Liberty Media purchased 1.7 million shares of Live Nation stock from Azoff, upping its stake in the company to 26.4 percent.
Today’s announcement from Live Nation offered up quotes from Azoff as well as Live Nation president/CEO Michael Rapino and Greg Maffei, external director for Live Nation’s board of directors and president/CEO of Liberty Media Corporation.
First up, the man of the hour, Irving Azoff.
“After successfully overseeing the integration of Live Nation and Ticketmaster over the past two years, my job here is done,” Azoff said. “We put together the leading company across concert promotion, ticketing, sponsorship and artist management and delivered the great results promised by the merger. I especially enjoyed my time with my partner Michael Rapino, and he has demonstrated the ability to lead this company from now on. I’m looking forward to returning to the entrepreneurial world and continuing to work with all my friends and colleagues at Live Nation.”
“Irving has been a valuable partner and friend for the past few years,” Rapino said. “We will certainly miss him and we thank him for his many contributions in building Live Nation to the global company it is today, entertaining 50 million fans and selling 200 million tickets in more than 40 countries around the world. I look forward to continuing to work with Irving on his artists’ tours for years to come.”
“I want to thank Irving for his leadership since the merger,” Maffei said. “While he has played a key role in setting Live Nation on a path for success, we understand his entrepreneurial desires. Live Nation is now well positioned and we have tremendous confidence in Michael Rapino and his leadership team.”