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Irving Azoff, the chairman of concert and ticketing giant Live Nation Entertainment, which handles the concert tours of countless major artists, will be stepping down. The company made the announcement Monday and his replacement has not been named.
Azoff has been one of the music industry’s most powerful figures over the past four decades and recently topped Billboard’s Power 100 for 2012. He worked with chief executive Michael Rapino to oversee the merger of Ticketmaster and LiveNation in 2010. Azoff’s Front Line management firm was also included in the merger and will stay under Live Nation’s ownership, notes The New York Times. However, Azoff plans to take some of his most well-known artists -- including the Eagles, Christina Aguilera and Van Halen -- with him.
“It’s no secret that I haven’t been a fan of public companies for some time,” Azoff told the Times. “I looked at my calendar for the beginning of next year and I was able to clear 90 days for things that went into dealing with a public company, which I can now devote to productive work.”
As part of his exit, Liberty Media will take 1.7 million of Azoff’s shares. That gives the company a 26.4 percent stake and The Post notes that Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei could take over Live Nation. Azoff had a total of 2.6 million shares of Live Nation.
Azoff also told the Post that he could no longer work for shareholders. “It was painful for me,” the 65-year-old said.
Live Nation has yet to confirm who Azoff’s successor will be.