Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (LYV:US), the world’s largest concert promoter, is replacing the head of its Ticketmaster division in the middle of an overhaul of the unit’s online service, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Jared Smith, Live Nation’s president of North America, will assume oversight of the business, said the person, who asked not to be named because the change hasn’t been announced. Nathan Hubbard, Ticketmaster’s president since 2010, will leave, the person said. An announcement is planned for next week, according to the person.
Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, California, is in the middle of a $75 million overhaul of Ticketmaster’s online technology to make the service easier to use for consumers and venue owners. The improvements are part of an effort to boost operating income by 35 percent over three years ending in 2015 and should be complete on time next year, Chief Executive Officer Michael Rapino said on a conference call (LYV:US) last week.
The company plans to seek a new Ticketmaster chief with a software and engineering background, the person said. Hubbard is a former recording artist who graduated from Princeton University and has a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University, according to a company profile.
Hubbard didn’t respond to a voicemail message on his mobile phone. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday he would be leaving. Ticketing accounted for about 23 percent of the company’s $5.82 billion in sales last year.
Live Nation gained 0.4 percent to $18.19 at the close in New York. The stock has almost doubled this year. John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. (LMCA:US) is the company’s largest shareholder, with a 26 percent stake (LYV:US), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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