Investors should react positively to Live Nation’s move to bring on former Raine Group managing director Jordan Zachary as Chief Strategy Officer, reporting to president and CEO Michael Rapino.
At Raine Group, a global merchant bank focused on technology, media and telecommunications, Zachary collaborated with Live Nation's team on its festival strategy, and was a key part of recent Live Nation deals, including the C3 Presents acquisition and the programming partnership with VICE, where he also holds board affiliations. Raine had also invested and become a partner with C3 prior to Live Nation’s acquisition of a controlling interest in C3 late last year, a deal reportedly worth $125 million.
“As we continue to drive our global market share, bringing on Jordan, who has deep expertise in the live music and media industries, will help us accelerate the growth of our concerts flywheel and find additional ways to build our high margin on-site, advertising and ticketing businesses," said Rapino in a statement.
Bringing Zachary into the Live Nation team signals that the company not only is likely to continue to be aggressively acquisitive, but also that the world’s largest promoter and festival producer will also be keenly focused on ROI above and beyond boosting its market share. Zachary’s knowledge of the live business is a huge plus, but he brings even more to the table. “His skill set is much wider than [live entertainment], and to find a guy who is that smart, with experience across multiple industries, plus banking, is so rare,” says one industry observer familiar with Zachary and this hiring.
Zachary’s shift to Live Nation could likely also herald the latter’s continued growth in the burgeoning North American festival market, which has not come at the expense of its overwhelmingly dominant position as an owner/operator of amphitheaters. Already the biggest player in European festivals, Live Nation has exploded its North American festival portfolio in the past three years, acquiring controlling interests in Insomniac (Electric Daisy Carnival), C3 (Lollapalooza, ACL Music Festival) and, most recently, Bonnaroo. Zachary is clearly bullish on the festival space; on a 2012 venture capital panel at the Billboard Touring Conference, Zachary, representing Raine, noted, “We made a bet that festivals have replaced the old amphitheater world and the way people see live music."
Zachary has a successful track record working with some of the industry's most notable burgeoning brands, as well as with Fortune 500 companies. In addition to taking on operational and strategic roles with advising executive teams around the world, he has worked in the global media investment banking groups of Lehman Brothers as well as UBS Investment Bank. Zachary currently serves on the boards of Margaritaville and C3 Presents, and is an observer on the board of directors of Vice Media and Important Studios.