SiriusXM CEO Karmazin Calls Internet Radio 'Race to the Bottom' on Earnings Call
SiriusXM CEO Karmazin Calls Internet Radio 'Race to the Bottom' on Earnings Call

SiriusXM Radio today announced that Mel Karmazin told its board of directors that he will be leaving the company on February 1, 2013, according to multiple media outlets. He will also leave the company's board on that date.

Karmazin's departure had been rumored for some months. Just last month he said "My instincts today are that Liberty does not need me." Liberty, which owns 49.5% of SiriusXM, is expected eventually to take control of the company.

In a statement, Karmazin said: "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. 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."

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"We appreciate the tremendous job Mel has done for the Company in overseeing the merger and delivering outstanding operating performance," said Liberty Media chairman John Malone. "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,"

The SiriusXM Board of Directors has formed a search committee - with Greg Maffei as chair -- to consider both internal and external candidates to replace Karmazin as the company's next CEO.