New York — The SiriusXM board appointed Jim Meyer, SiriusXM’s sales and operations president, as interim CEO to replace Mel Karmazin, who is leaving sooner than expected.
Previously, Karmazin had said he would step down as SiriusXM CEO and relinquish his board seat on Feb. 1 after his employment contract expires. His announcement followed plans by Liberty Media to take control of SiriusXM.
Karmazin also resigned as a member of the SiriusXM board, and Meyer joined the board.
As previously announced, the board formed a search committee to consider internal and external candidates for the CEO job. The company said Meyer would be considered.
Board chairman Eddy Hartenstein said Meyer’s eight years with the company will provide for a “seamless transition.”
Meyer served as sales and operations president since May 2004 following his role as president of Aegis Ventures, a general management consulting company that provided consulting services to SiriusXM, and a longtime CE industry veteran with RCA and Thomson.
Karmazin engineered the merger of the separate Sirius and XM satellite-radio services and then engineered a financial lifeline with Liberty in February 2009 to stave off bankruptcy during the nation’s financial crisis. Liberty lent up to $530 million in exchange for preferred stock that, when converted to common stock, would give it a 40 percent stake in the satellite-radio broadcaster. This year, Liberty has been buying additional SiriusXM stock and asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to transfer control of SiriusXM to it. The FCC has said it would make a decision no sooner than late this month.
Liberty Media’s consolidated wholly owned subsidiaries include Starz, the Atlanta Braves, and TruePosition, which develops and markets technology for locating wireless phones and wireless devices.