As part of its earnings call this week, Live Nation (NYSE:LYV) announced that Kathy Willard will be retiring after nearly 24 years with the company, and its Chief Financial Officer since 2007. Joe Berchtold, Live Nation’s President, will assume CFO duties going forward.
“It has been an honor to have worked for this innovative and exciting company for so many years,” said Willard, who will continue to consult for the company. “I am truly grateful to my Live Nation colleagues for their partnership, knowledge and friendship. I am proud of the work we have done to position the company for future financial success, and as we return to live shows, I know Joe will do an excellent job leading the company’s finances during one of the most important times in the company’s history.”
During her tenure, the company has seen enormous growth, particularly in the last five years. Stock prices for the entertainment, promotions and ticketing giant have steadily increased from the $20 range to nearly $90 earlier this year, with growth only momentarily impacted by the unprecedented halt on business brought on by COVID. Prices stand around $78/share as of Friday, morning, more than double the lows hit in April of 2020.
Berchtold praised Willard’s stewardship of the company in the unprecedented challenges of the past year. Financial moves made amid the shutdown included dramatic cost cutting across the company and its myriad subsidiaries including Ticketmaster, executive salary forfeiture, and the securing of additional funding to provide cash flow for the business.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked so closely with Kathy for over a decade, particularly over the past year as we prepared for this transition,” Berchtold says. “I look forward to taking a deeper focus on our financial operations and continuing to lead Live Nation alongside Michael [Rapino] and our incredible global executive team.”