Mel Karmazin, CEO of satellite radio company Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI), is planning to step down from his position. While his contract runs out at the end of this year, he’ll stay on through Feb. 1, 2013, to allow for a replacement to be found. Karmazin will also be resigning from the company’s board.
Karmazin has been CEO since 2004. During his tenure he oversaw the merger with rival XM Radio and brought the struggling media firm back to profitability. Cutting costs, raising prices and signing big-name talent were all hallmarks of Karmazin’s leadership.
Questions about Karmazin’s place at Sirius have swirled ever since Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA), which rescued the firm from bankruptcy in 2009 and controls more than 47% of the shares, announced that it was seeking a controlling interest in Sirius. The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering Liberty’s plan.
Sirius estimates that its pretax earnings will come in at $875 million this year, and it expects to add 1.6 million subscribers to its existing base of 22.9 million customers.