Sirius XM’s new Chairman is Gregory Maffei


Sirius XMGregory Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media, has replaced Eddy Hartenstein as chairman of the board, Sirius XM disclosed 4/10 in an SEC filing. Maffei, 52, is Liberty Media president and CEO. The change comes three months after the Liberty acquired majority control in Sirius XM and regulators approved the transfer of Sirius XM’s broadcast licenses to Liberty.

Live Nation Entertainment, the concert and ticketing giant, also named Maffei its Chairman last month, replacing Irving Azoff, the longtime music exec who helped see Live Nation through its merger with Ticketmaster in 2010, and left at the end of last year.

Maffei has been on the Sirius XM board since March 2009. Hartenstein, 62, was the company’s non-executive chairman since November 2009, and he still has a seat on the board. He’s also the publisher and CEO of the LA Times.

Liberty bought a 40% stake in Sirius XM in 2009 after agreeing to lend the company $530 million, saving it from bankruptcy. It gradually acquired more of Sirius after that.

Liberty is still in a search for a permanent CEO for Sirius XM Radio. A final decision is expected within a month or two. Jim Meyer was named interim CEO in December after the exit of Mel Karmazin.

Sirius XM directors Leon Black, Lawrence Gilberti, and Jack Shaw resigned from the board after Liberty Media gained majority control. That allowed Liberty to gain control of the board of directors. After Karmazin left the company in December ahead of the takeover, Mark Carleton, Robin Pringle, Charles Tanabe and Sirius XM CEO James Meyer were appointed to the board.

SIRI said Tanabe won’t stand for election to a full one-year term. Malone, who has been on the board since April 2009, also won’t run for a new term. Sirius XM said it nominated David Zaslav and Malone’s son Evan, to fill those seats on the board, reported The AP/Washington Examiner.

Zaslav, 53, is president and CEO of Discovery Communications. Evan Malone, 42, has been a director of Liberty Media since August 2008. He also works as an engineering consultant.

There are 13 positions on Sirius XM’s board. Shareholders will vote on the nominees at the company’s annual meeting on 5/21.

See The AP/Washington Examiner story here