SiriusXM Shares Shaky As Witz Wins CEO Seat Amid CFO Shuffle

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Investors immediately responded to major leadership changes announced early Tuesday at SiriusXM in a negative matter, as SXM dipped in value in heavy trading on the Nasdaq Global Select exchange.


Why the dip, which put SiriusXM down by 5% at the Closing Bell?

Its CEO will retire at year’s end, with SiriusXM’s President of Sales, Marketing and Operations taking his place.

Indeed, Dec. 31 will be the final day Jim Meyer will serve as SiriusXM’s Chief Executive. As the clock turns to 2021, Jennifer Witz will succeed him as CEO.

Witz has been with SiriusXM for more than 18 years, and in her current role since March 2019. Prior to that, she served as CMO from August 2017 until her most recent promotion. She has also been SVP/Finance at SiriusXM. Before joining the company, Witz was VP of Planning and Development at Viacom Inc.

There’s more: Sean S. Sullivan has taken over as EVP/CFO, as David J. Frear is out and “will be pursuing opportunities.” Frear has already departed SiriusXM, while Sullivan will assume his new role on Oct. 26.

Sullivan has served since June 2011 as EVP/CFO of AMC Networks.

“Sean brings two-plus decades of financial and operating experience, strong leadership abilities and an in-depth understanding of the entertainment industry,” said Meyer, who also thanked Frear “for his many years of dedication to the company and excellent contributions to SiriusXM.”

There’s another departure involving SiriusXM to note: George W. Bodenheimer has resigned from the Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Gregory B. Maffei remains Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sirius XM Holdings.

Following his retirement, Meyer will remain on SiriusXM’s Board of Directors and will serve as Vice Chairman. Witz will be appointed as a member of the board upon assuming the CEO role.

Meyer will work closely with Witz to ensure a smooth transition.

Speaking of Meyer’s retirement, Maffei thanked him “for his outstanding service, helping to create the leader in audio entertainment in North America. We are a better company for his stewardship. We look forward to continuing to work with him on the board and to build on SiriusXM’s strong momentum.”

Meyer commented, “It has been a privilege to lead SiriusXM, and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together over the last eight years. This company has never been in a better position. This is a key time for SiriusXM, and I look forward to working with Jennifer to ensure a smooth transition as we execute on our near-term priorities.”

At 11:43am, SIRI was at $5.40, off 4.3%, on exceptionally heavy volume of 26.6 million shares. Average volume is 24.5 million shares.

By 4pm, SIRI found itself at $5.36, with 46.32 million shares trading.

It is the lowest closing price for SiriusXM since May 22.

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