Executive Turntable

Live Nation CFO Kathy Willard to Retire in June

Kathy Willard
Courtesy Photo

Kathy Willard

Live Nation CFO Kathy Willard is retiring after nearly 25 years with the promoter. Live Nation announced Thursday (May 6) that Willard will step down from her role on June 30.

“Kathy has been here since day one of Live Nation, and on behalf of the entire team, I want to thank her for her remarkable dedication and enormous contributions to our company,” said Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino in a release. “Kathy’s leadership, vision and financial expertise have driven more than two decades of growth and will forever be part of Live Nation’s journey.”

As the CFO and evp for Live Nation Entertainment, Willard spent the past 14 years managing the finances for the world’s largest live entertainment, ticketing and eCommerce company. Willard oversaw 10 consecutive record years of growth at Live Nation Entertainment from 2010 to 2019. She was appointed CFO in September 2007 following nine years at the company in various roles including evp and chief accounting officer.

“It has been an honor to have worked for this innovative and exciting company for so many years,” Willard said in a release. “I am truly grateful to my Live Nation colleagues for their partnership, knowledge and friendship. I am proud of the work we have done to position the company for future financial success, and as we return to live shows, I know Joe will do an excellent job leading the company’s finances during one of the most important times in the company’s history.”

Starting July 1, Live Nation president Joe Berchtold will take over as president and CFO. Willard will consult on the transition and remain with the company as an advisor to the management team.

“Joe has always been intricately involved in our financial planning process and we’re happy to have someone who already knows our business so well stepping into this role,” Rapino said. “Over the past year we’ve been obsessed with improving our business however we can and we’re heading into the return of shows as we have deepened our executive team to provide more leadership on strategy, operations, and innovation than ever before. This will allow Joe to take on our CFO role and together, we will continue to focus on maintaining a strong financial position while ensuring that Live Nation is ready to resume live shows as soon as possible.”

Berchtold has served as president of Live Nation since 2017 after joining the company in 2011. As president, Berchtold oversees a number of corporate functions and leads many of the company’s performance improvement and strategic initiatives. Previously, he was president of Technicolor Creative Services, and before that a partner with McKinsey and Company. Berchtold graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Pomona College and earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar and Loeb Fellow.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked so closely with Kathy for over a decade, particularly over the past year as we prepared for this transition," said Berchtold in a release. "I look forward to taking a deeper focus on our financial operations and continuing to lead Live Nation alongside Michael and our incredible global executive team."