Cheryl Rosner, who was appointed president and CEO of TicketsNow in the summer of 2007, is leaving the company at the end of the year, TicketNews has learned.
Details of the move were not yet available, but according to sources with knowledge of the decision, the announcement was made internally yesterday, December 8. Her duties will likely be assumed by Shawn Freeman, chief technology officer at the company, and a Rosner hire. There had been some speculation that Ticketmaster President Sean Moriarty, who now reports to Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff, was going to take over, but that appears not to be true.
Ticketmaster bought TicketsNow earlier this year for an estimated $265 million, but Ticketmaster’s fortunes have plummeted ever since. The company was spun off by parent IAC/InterActiveCorp late in the summer and its stock began public trading under the symbol TKTM.
From a high in late August of $27 per share, Ticketmaster stock was trading below $4 earlier today, and its market capitalization was only about $222 million, well under the $265 million it paid for TicketsNow. See ticker below.
Rosner, a former executive with Expedia and Hotels.com, was brought in to beef up TicketsNow for a potential sale, and by all accounts she successfully achieved that goal.
But following the sale, under her direction, the company was forced to layoff about 60 employees when it began missing certain projections and goals.
In addition, reports began to surface of problems with staff and clients. The company lost several ticket industry veterans, such as founder Mike Domek and popular EventInventory division heads Nick Bucci and Ralph Garreffa, and the company began to clash with many of its broker clients.
During Rosner’s tenure, TicketsNow also changed its business model from a broker-to-broker exchange to a consumer ticket exchange when it began to allow fans to resell tickets, a move that was unpopular with brokers.
Brokers also began to question the company’s motives when people looking for premium tickets on Ticketmaster.com were being rerouted to the TicketsNow Web site, even though those tickets had never been publicly available from Ticketmaster in the first place. Discontentment reached such a level that TicketsNow and Ticketmaster were forced to host a meeting with brokers to try to squash the speculation.
However, the meeting did little to change the minds of brokers, many of whom remain angry at TicketsNow and Ticketmaster. In addition, the meeting led rival StubHub to seek a tape from TicketNews of the meeting to use in its defense of a Ticketmaster lawsuit. TicketNews successfully defended a subpoena from StubHub in the case.