Mark Mays exiting as CEO of Clear Channel

Exec to leave company his father founded by year's end

Marking the end of an era, Mark Mays told Clear Channel employees Wednesday that he will step down as chief executive officer the company his father founded in 1972 and built into the largest radio and outdoor company in the U.S.

Mays, who will exit his executive post by the end of the year, will remain chairman of the board, which has not yet named a successor.

May's exit will mark the first time a Mays hasn't been running the radio and outdoor company.

He was named CEO in 2004 after his father, Lowry, retired. Randall Mays, a director and vice chairman of the board and former chief financial officer and president, left the company last October.

May's decision comes about one year after Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners took the company private.

In his memo, Mays said the timing was right, as the company and the radio business recover from the toughest advertising recession in recent years.

"Given the positive trends we are seeing, I am very optimistic about the future of Clear Channel. That's why I feel this is an opportune time for a new CEO to work with the management team in leading our terrific company forward," Mays wrote. "While you can imagine this was not an easy decision for me, it was made collaboratively and amicably with the full support of our financial sponsors."
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