Barry Diller Resigns As Live Nation Chairman
September 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM (PT)
LIVE NATION Chairman of the Board BARRY DILLER has resigned from that post amidst reports that his departure was due to a rift between DILLER and LIVE NATION. Both DILLER and AZOFF disputed those reports, asserting that DILLER's departure was planned well in advance.
The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that the straw that the catalyst for DILLER's departure was what WSJ described as a a disastrous investor conference in JULY. "After the meeting, according to people familiar with the matter, Mr. DILLER chastised Mr. RAPINO for the presentation, which included claims that were considered by many in the music industry to be exaggerated. Soon after the presentation, the company removed video footage of the presentation from its website.
"For instance, one slide in a Powerpoint presentation implied that with the help of LIVE NATION it would take a contemporary recording artist just three months to vault from obscurity to selling out concert arenas. Most in the music business believe a more realistic timeline to be on the order of two years."
According to the FINANCIAL TIMES, DILLER denied those reports, releasing a statement that read: "I have always said, since the merger of TICKETMASTER and LIVE NATION, that I only planned to stay as chairman through the transition and integration of the two companies ... It’s been almost a year and I informed the board today that while there was no rush, the board should start the process now to appoint a new chairman."
AZOFF offered a succinct and typically blunt response on his TWITTER account. "As usual the press reports are ridiculous." he tweeted. "It was always BARRY DILLER’s intention to step down as chairman during the first year of the merger."