Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) Karmazin to step down as CEO in Feb 2013

Sirius XM Radio Inc(NASDAQ:SIRI)’s Mel Karmazin plans to step down from his position as Chief Executive in February next year, at the end of his contract period.

The satellite radio service provider is being taken over by Liberty Media and Karmazin has maintained that once the control passes into the hands of Liberty, he would not be allowed to continue as its boss.

Karmazin has been heading Sirius for about eight years and is known to be inimical to working under a controlling shareholder.

Liberty rescued Sirius XM from near bankruptcy in 2009 and provided it with $530 million in loan in lieu of a 40 percent stake in the company.

Sirius is now out of trouble and Liberty has been angling to take full control of the company and has been slowly raising its stake in it via market purchases.

Karmazin has been responsible for some part of the turnaround the company and under him Sirius has grown its subscriber count to 23.4 million, and maintains an estimated 70 percent market share of pre-installed satellite radio in new cars sold in the United States.

"We will keep our foot on the gas and continue driving ahead to finish 2012 and lay the groundwork for 2013 and beyond," Karmazin wrote in an email to Sirius employees.

"I'm looking forward to seeing - and listening to - all that is ahead for SiriusXM in the years to come."

Sirius said its board formed a search committee to consider both internal and external candidates for its next CEO.

"While we understand, we regret Mel's decision to pursue other interests and are grateful for his willingness to oversee a smooth and orderly transition," Liberty CEO John Malone said in a statement.

Shares of SIRI fell 1.37% to $2.87 in Tuesday’s session.

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