Mark Mays sets new date to exit as Clear Channel CEO


His original plan was to step down by December 31, 2010, but his successor hadn’t been named, so Mark Mays stayed put as CEO of Clear Channel Communications and its parent company, CC Media Holdings. Now he’s set a new exit date of March 31st.

Mays sent word of the new target date to staffers in an email on Monday (2/7) which the company made available to RBR-TVBR:

“There’s a time for everything.  And with a New Year well underway, on the road to a new financing that secures Clear Channel’s near term outlook, and a leadership team that has positioned the company for growth, I’ve determined that now is THE right time for me to follow through on the commitment I made to my family and myself and step back from daily management of the company.  I’ve informed the Board that by March 31 I will retire as President and CEO of Clear Channel – news which was announced today along with our Fourth Quarter earnings.

It’s not time for me to say ‘Goodbye’ to all of you – or to Clear Channel.  I intend to stay involved with this company that I love, continuing in my role as Chairman.  But with leadership like CCO America’s Ron Cooper; William Eccleshare at CCO International; John Hogan at Clear Channel Radio – now joined by Bob Pittman, Clear Channel’s Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms; CFO Tom Casey; GC Rob Walls and Head of HR Bill Feehan – our company’s daily operations are in the great hands of a team that has shown how much it can accomplish together and what great potential our operations have for growth. Their leadership, their spirit of innovation, their belief in all that can be accomplished with your help, are what have made it possible for me to consider finalizing these plans of mine.  Meanwhile, the Board will continue the active search for my replacement that began back in June when I first told you of my intention to retire. 

This will be the beginning of a new stage in life for me, one that I’m looking forward to.  But I will also look forward to maintaining my ties to Clear Channel and to you all – and take continuing pride in all your great work.

Warm Regards,


What happens if there’s still no new CEO in place by March 31st?

“Certainly our hope is that we will have a CEO by March 31st. If we don’t have a CEO by March 31st, then we will put some interim type of solution in until we have a CEO. I think if we think about it, we have great leadership within the company…” Mays told analysts in his quarterly conference call, going on to name many of those mentioned in his email. “We have a very well talented team, so we should feel confident that they’re going to continue to drive the businesses,” he said.

Here is what the company itself said of the ongoing search for a new CEO: “In June 2010, Mark P. Mays announced his decision to retire as our President and Chief Executive Officer and asked the Company’s Board of Directors to initiate a search for his replacement. The Company has been actively searching for a replacement but, to date, has not identified his successor. Mr. Mays has informed the Company that he will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer on the earlier of the date that his successor joins the Company or March 31, 2011.”