As it moves closer to launching its own ticketing operation, Live Nation today announced it was promoting its ticketing division President Nathan Hubbard to...

As it moves closer to launching its own ticketing operation, Live Nation today announced it was promoting its ticketing division President Nathan Hubbard to CEO of the unit, and will fold LiveNation.com under the management of the division.

The move comes on the heels of the unrelated, but distracting, ouster of Michael Cohl as Chairman of Live Nation, as the company looks to reassure Wall Street that its ticketing operation is successfully moving forward. Hubbard’s responsibilities have been expanded and he is charged with turning the division into a dominant concert ticketing company.

Live Nation, which is severing most of its ties to rival Ticketmaster to create the improved ticketing division, already enjoys the number two position among ticket companies behind Ticketmaster, according to TicketNews’s exclusive industry rankings, but the distance behind Ticketmaster is sizable. Once Live Nation gets its ticketing operation fully up to speed in 2009, it expects to handle in excess of 20 million tickets for Live Nation events annually.

Hubbard came to Live Nation in 2006 when Live Nation acquired Musictoday for which Hubbard was already CEO, and he used that experience to help create the backbone of Live Nation’s ticketing efforts. Currently, Live Nation sells more than 2 million tickets annually, primarily through its venues and to fan club members.

“We have assembled a ticketing team consisting of some of the most creative, effective and seasoned leaders in the arena,” Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation, said in a statement. “With his proven track record of building ticketing, online and ecommerce businesses from the ground up, Nathan is perfectly positioned to expand his role to lead our ticketing unit as we integrate our ticketing platform with a redesigned, ecommerce focused gateway at LiveNation.com.”

Joining Hubbard in the division are:

— Joe Manna, Chief Information Officer, who brings 25 year of experience in technology, operations and IT, and most recently worked as served as Chief Technology Officer of Tickets.com.
Greg Bettinelli, EVP Business Development and Strategy, who joined the company earlier this year from StubHub/eBay, where he spearheaded the company’s landmark relationship with Major League Baseball. Bettinelli will be one of the featured speakers at Ticket Summit 2008, July 23-25 at the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel Resort Casino in Las Vegas.
— Noah Maffitt, EVP/GM of LiveNation.com, who recently joined the company from Office Depot where he was instrumental in driving growth to nearly $5 billion in total ecommerce revenue.

“Joe, Greg and Noah are absolute superstars in their fields and I’m very pleased to continue my work with them in this expanded role,” Hubbard said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for Live Nation’s ticketing initiatives, and I’m looking forward to spearheading our growth as we prepare to launch our major ticketing operation in 2009.”

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