Barry Diller is out, John Malone is in at Live Nation
Two years after losing a bitterly fought courtroom battle with his onetime business partner Barry Diller, Malone has succeeded in replacing Diller as chairman of the board of Live Nation Entertainment -- at least for now.
Diller's exit from the post was widely expected after he announced his intent to step down last month. Leslie Cafferty, Diller's spokeswoman, said he would remain on the Live Nation board but would not issue a statement on the matter.
Live Nation, the Beverly Hills concert promoter that in January merged with Diller's Ticketmaster to create a live music conglomerate, on Friday made the announcement that Diller has officially stepped down. Malone, who snagged a spot on the board when he purchased 14% of Live Nation's stock, has been named "interim" chairman.
Sixteen days ago when news of his planned departure from the Live Nation board broke, Diller said there was "no rush" to name a new chairman since, as he added during a tech conference that day in San Francisco, he planned to step down by the end of the year.
Bad blood simmering between Malone and Diller stems from Diller's plan several years ago to spin off IAC/Interactive's businesses, including Ticketmaster. Malone objected to the breakup plan, arguing that it would dilute his controlling shares in the new companies. Each sued the other, and a judge in 2008 decided in Diller's favor.
An e-mail to Malone's spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
-- Alex Pham
Top photo: John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media. Credit: Andrew Gombert / EPA. Bottom photo: Barry Diller, CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp. Credit: Gregory Bull / Associated Press.