Cohl resigns Live Nation posts, denies bad blood


Michael Cohl has resigned as chairman of the board of Live Nation and has vacated his post as CEO of Live Nation Artists, effective immediately.

Negotiations for Cohl's resignation were finalized Friday, and he will serve as a consultant to the company.

In an exclusive conference call, Cohl and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino outlined Cohl's exit and downplayed media reports of rancor between the two.

"One of the strengths of Michael Cohl is he's a big thinker, strategic, great with relationships, artists and big deals," Rapino said. "That's what we want him to do; we don't actually want him to get caught up in the day-to-day of running of our division and all the bureaucracy around the operational part."

Former Live Nation chairman of the board Randall Mays eventually will re-assume that position; Live Nation chairman of global music and CEO of global touring Arthur Fogel will run LNA. Cohl's consultant deal runs through 2012, and he has a noncompete clause that runs through 2016.

Asked what precipitated the move, Cohl said that perhaps he took on too many duties in the dual position of running LNA and chairing Live Nation. "It was really all about I wasn't doing what I'm really good at," he said.

Ray Waddell is an executive director at Billboard.