Michael Jacobsen, executive chairman of Sydney-based live entertainment dynasty the Jacobsen Group, has stepped down as executive chairman and CEO of venue operator Arena Management after almost four years in the role.
Jacobsen, who continues as deputy chairman of Arena Management, has decided to focus on private interests, according to a statement. The decision comes as Arena moves closer to finalizing the sale of its key business units as part of a restructuring and sale of certain assets under the umbrella of the Jacobsen family.
“My focus now is on expanding the Michael Jacobsen Group, with core interests in the entertainment industry complemented by investments in new ventures and distressed assets,” says Jacobsen in a statement. This will include certain joint investments with his father, showbiz entrepreneur Kevin Jacobsen, and other partners.
Arena Management operates the 12,400-capacity Sydney Entertainment Centre, the 2,000-capacity Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and the 12,000 Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, which opened in March 2007.
“There are particular opportunities in the market at the present time and the entertainment industry in particular remains buoyant in Australia,” he adds.
Jacobsen endured something of a torrid period midway through his time at the helm of Arena Management. In 2007, a family feud spilled into the boardroom when Jacobsen’s uncle Col Joye sought to remove his nephew on unproved claims of inappropriate behavior.
Jacobsen is a principal of each of the Jacobsen family group of companies, which include Jacobsen Entertainment Group, Dirty Dancing Asia Pacific and Jacobsen Venue Management, the major shareholder of Arena Management. The executive is also co-producer and global rights holder of “Dirty Dancing – the Classic Story, On Stage.”