Ticketmaster president Nathan Hubbard has exited the Live Nation-owned ticketing company.
Sources confirm to Billboard.biz that Hubbard will step down as Ticketmaster president in a deal to be finalized in the coming days. Ticketmaster North America president Jared Smith will assume the position. Apparently the transition has been in the works for some time.
The Wall Street Journal, citing various people close to the situation, says Hubbard's departure could've resulted from a power struggle with Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. Others say it's because of Live Nation's desire to find a Ticketmaster president with a deeper background in technology.
Live Nation did not respond for comment at press time.
Hubbard, who's been included on Billboard's Power 100 and 40 Under 40 lists, was tapped to lead Ticketmaster following the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger in January 2010. Hubbard got his start in music as the former half of Washington, D.C., folk-rock duo Rockwell Church. After the group broke up, he earned an MBA and served as CEO of Coran Capshaw’s fan club e-ticket site MusicToday, which Live Nation acquired in 2006.
One source told the Wall Street Journal that Live Nation is seeking a "tech guru" at a time when the company hopes to expand its ticketing platform into a major e-commerce website.
Hubbard has been helping usher Ticketmaster, the world's most powerful ticketing company, into the digital age. According to Live Nation, 14% of Ticketmaster sales in North America were purchased on mobile platforms in 2012, double the number from the previous 12 months. And in March, Live Nation for the first time sold more than 1 million tickets worldwide on mobile platforms, a trend the company expects to accelerate.
“We wake up every day trying to make the experience of buying a ticket awesome,” Hubbard previously told Billboard.
Ticketmaster services more than 10,000 clients, moving 400 million-plus tickets annually. The company also draws strength from its 200 million-plus customer database, which allows clients to better target fans.
Billboard.biz will have more on this developing story...