Irving Azoff has resigned as chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, the country's largest concert promoter and one of the biggest powers in the music industry, the company announced on Monday.
Azoff had been chairman since 2011, when he was tapped to lead the new music behemoth formed by the merger of promoter Live Nation and ticketseller Ticketmaster. His contract was not up until 2014, the same year as CEO Michael Rapino. Rapino recently signed a new five-year deal.
The former head of MCA Records, Azoff has been a prominent figure in the music industry for decades, particularly through managing and promoting for a massive roster of artists. He remains the manager of prominent musical acts such as The Eagles and Christina Aguilera.
In addition to stepping down as chairman, Azoff will step down as CEO of Front Line Management Group, Live Nation's large artist management unit it purchased from Azoff and other investors. Azoff will also step down from Live Nation's board of directors.
"After successfully overseeing the integration of Live Nation and Ticketmaster over the past two years, my job here is done," Azoff said in a statement. "We put together the leading company across concert promotion, ticketing, sponsorship and artist management and delivered the great results promised by the merger."
"I'm looking forward to returning to the entrepreneurial world and continuing to work with all my friends and colleagues at Live Nation," he added.
In conjunction with his depature, Azoff sold 1.7 million shares of the company to Liberty Media Corporation, which now owns 26.4 percent of Live Nation. He is poised to join the board of Liberty, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"I want to thank Irving for his leadership since the merger. While he has played a key role in setting Live Nation on a path for success, we understand his entrepreneurial desires," Greg Maffei, lead external director for Live Nation Entertainment's Board of Directors, and President and CEO of Liberty Media, said in a statement.
More to come..