After much speculation about the future of CEO Mel Karmazin at SiriusXM, a decision was made today. Karmazin told the Board of Directors that he’ll be leaving the satellite radio company February 1, 2013, when his current employment contract expires and after a transition period. All Access reports that the media executive will also step down from the Board of Directors.
In August, Liberty Media acquired additional shares of SiriusXM, in a bid to take over the company. Thus began Karmazin’s internal battle with his future of SiriusXM.
Karmazin, 69, joined Sirius as CEO in 2004. He was instrumental in hiring Howard Stern two years later as one the satellite network’s signature voices.
Read Karmazin’s statement after the jump
“SiriusXM is an extraordinary company with an incredible team. It is an honor to come to work here every day where we truly deliver the best radio on radio,” Karmazin said in a statement. “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. Given where we started, it is amazing that SiriusXM has grown to become the largest radio company in the world. With a deep bench of corporate talent, a roster that includes the most in-demand on-air personalities and a wide-range of exclusive programming, SiriusXM has never been better positioned than it is today. We continue to grow our subscriber base to record levels and our financial position has never been stronger. Importantly, the commitment to delivering innovative new products and technologies is very strong. SiriusXM has a strong foundation to build on for the future and there is a great team in place to keep the company moving forward. I am confident that SiriusXM’s best years are ahead.”
Karmazin ran Metromedia’s WNEW-AM (now WBBR) and WNEW-FM until he was approached to head Infinity Broadcasting in 1981. In due time, he would add WFAN and WKTU to the stable of Infinity stations. He ran Infinity for 15 years before he sold the company to Westinghouse, then a parent of CBS. By 1997, Infinity merged with CBS, and Karmazin’s ascension was rapid.
He started as CBS Radio chairman and CEO. Karmazin would serve as president and CEO of CBS Corporation. By 2000, Viacom absorbed CBS, creating the two-headed monster at the top of Karmazin and Viacom chief Sumner Redstone.