Kathy Willard
Kathy Willard

Executive VP/CFO, Live Nation Entertainment

Watching The Books
As executive VP/CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, Kathy Willard runs the books of the world's largest live entertainment promoter, ticketing leader and artist management company -- a business that connects more than 200 million fans across all its platforms in 41 countries.

My Mentor: Willard says she has had many mentors throughout her career and adds that while mentors are important, "You have to choose your path and make your own decisions because ultimately you have to own it. Recognize your strengths, seek advice from your mentors, and then combine that with what you already know in order to be the best you can be."

Consider the scope of these financials: Live Nation has more than 6,600 employees globally, promotes 22,000-plus concerts, partners with 12,000 ticketing clients and represents more than 250 artists with 90 top managers. Willard oversees the financial operations of Live Nation, and has been key to managing cost savings and the balance sheet to help drive profitability and shareholder value. In 2012, Live Nation was active in global expansion, absorbing the leading concert promoter in Australia, launching concert promotion operations in South Korea and partnering with the leading concert promoter in Japan for live events. Other acquisitions in the year include Creamfields and Hard Events, which have further established Live Nation's position in EDM. Willard was instrumental in the completion of these deals and the integration of these entities into the overall corporate financial structure. In 2012, Willard helped Live Nation to further improve future free cash-flow growth with a debt refinancing completed in August, which will reduce its annual interest costs by more than $10 million. Her management of the financial operations has helped ensure Live Nation's positive growth and efficient use of a $125 million capital budget.