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Univision CEO Joe Uva steps down

March 14, 2011 | 10:56 am

Joe Uva, a veteran advertising executive who switched gears four years ago to run the nation's largest Spanish-language media company, said Monday he was stepping down. JoeUvaPhoto

Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban, chairman and a key investor of New York-based Univision, will take on more responsibilities while a search is underway to find a new chief executive, the company said.

“Univision is a better company today due to Joe’s efforts in building a strong leadership team and positioning Univision for long-term success," Saban said in a statement announcing Uva's departure. "Univision’s business is strong, and the entire management team remains focused on delivering value to its customers and stakeholders. We wish Joe the best in his future endeavors.”

Univision's statement was brief, suggesting that the decision to step down was Uva's. It said that Uva, president and chief executive officer, had decided not to renew his employment agreement "in order to be able to seek other opportunities."

But it comes fewer than two months after Univision installed longtime NBC executive and former AOL chief Randy Falco as chief operating officer, a signal that the Univision board felt it needed to strengthen its management bench. It was not immediately clear whether Falco would be a candidate for CEO.

“My four years as President and CEO of Univision have been extremely exciting and rewarding. I believe our team can be proud of the accomplishments that we achieved during my tenure," Uva said in the statement. "The time is right for me to capitalize on other opportunities. I know that Univision will continue its great success as the premier Spanish-language media company in the U.S.”

His last day will be April 2.

-- Meg James

Photo: Joe Uva. Credit: Univision Communications