Sirius’s Interim CEO Steps Into Big Shoes

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On Wednesday, SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) announced that James Meyer, president of sales and operations, has been appointed interim CEO effective immediately, following the exit of Mel Karmazin. Meyer will also join the board of directors in Karmazin’s place.

Is this the right move for the rapidly-growing company?

Karmazin, who has been with Sirius since 2004, is leaving behind a legacy of growth. Among other things, he was instrumental in the merger with XM Satellite Radio, and over the past year has helped grow the company’s stock price over 63 percent.

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Karmazin has presided over four consecutive years of top-line growth and three consecutive years of bottom-line growth.

Karmazin’s departure is thought to be catalyzed by what seems to be the inexorable takeover of Sirius by Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA), a major investor that is currently waiting for approval to take a majority stake. John Malone, who chairs Liberty Media, has a long history of disagreement with Karmazin. Malone has publicly displayed frustration with Karmazin’s leadership and an executive shakeup was likely in the event of a takeover.

Shares of Sirius took a dive in morning trading on the news, but by the afternoon the stock was posting a fractional gain. There may be disagreement over Karmazin’s leadership, but Meyer is seen by many as a strong replacement…

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