Sources: Live Nation Ousts Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard
Live Nation has "pushed out" Ticketmaster CEO NATHAN HUBBARD, according to sources cited by Hannah Karp of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Sources offered "different explanations for the move" to replace Hubbard, who had been in the position since January '10. Some said that it was "because of a long-running power struggle" with Live Nation President & CEO MICHAEL RAPINO. Other sources "attributed it to the company's desire to find a Ticketmaster president with a deeper background in technology and management." One source said that the company is "seeking a 'tech guru' ... hoping to expand the ticketing platform into a major e-commerce site." Ticketmaster North America President JARED SMITH took over Hubbard's duties "months ago running Ticketmaster day-to-day." Relationships with sports teams and the press also have "been a bone of contention" between Hubbard and Rapino. A source said that the tension "came to a head recently at a gathering of NBA teams," where Hubbard's "close ties to the league's owners and executives were evident." However, another source said that the tension "had no bearing on the decision to replace" Hubbard. The source said that Rapino over the past year has "become more personally engaged in the ticketing business" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/13). In N.Y., Ben Sisario writes Hubbard has "made himself the public face of Ticketmaster, embracing the challenge of turning around the brand’s negative image among consumers, who frequently blame it for the high surcharges and other headaches related to buying concert and sporting tickets" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/13).