Outspoken Sirius XM Radio CEO Mel Karmazin will step down on Feb. 1, 2013, after his contract expires, according to an official release by the company. The satellite broadcaster's board has formed a search committee to consider both internal and external candidates to replace him. Here is the full text of Karmazin's email to staff:
Today I told the Board that I will be stepping down as CEO of SiriusXM on February 1, 2013, following the expiration of my employment agreement and after a transition period. I also plan to leave the Company's Board of Directors at that time.
It is my great privilege to be a part of SiriusXM. The last eight years have been an amazing ride. We have over 23 million subscribers and today SiriusXM is the largest radio company in the world when measured by revenue and among the largest subscription media businesses in the U.S. We completed a merger that changed the audio entertainment business and successfully navigated the depths of the financial crisis at a time when many companies were not so lucky.
The commitment and drive to create, promote and broadcast world-class entertainment, information, music and sports programming from the broadest spectrum possible is as sharp today as when the company was first concieved.
New talent, new programming, new and improved technology - this happens every day at SiriusXM. We continue to have live coverage of every major sport, the best programming in news, talk and entertainment and commercial-free music. We have broken new ground in curating our own concerts, town halls and special events for in-person, on-air and online access.
Today our listeners can enjoy SiriusXM wherever and whenever they want. Our service is available through every major auto manufacturer and our online access has grown. Whether it is via online, iPhone, smart phone or tablet, our listeners can always get the best radio on radio. The functionality of SiriusXM 2.0 is dramatically accelerating the experience for subscribers and we're not done yet.
We have the team, the talent and the financial standing to continue to grow and lead the industry by anyone's measure. Our bench is deep, our drive is strong and our ability to deliver has been proven again and again. I'm looking forward to seeing - and listening to - all that is ahead for SiriusXM in the years to come.
I'm incredibly proud to have had the honor of leading this company. I continue to be inspired by the team here. This is an exceptional place to work and it is because of the people. Thank you for sharing your time and your talents with me over the last eight years. We have done amazing things and you all have my gratitude for the hard work and dedication it took to bring it all to fruition.
In that same spirit, we will keep our foot on the gas and continue driving ahead to finish 2012 and lay the groundwork for 2013 and beyond. I look forward to finishing strongly and to working with you to create an exceptional experience for our subscribers and growing value for our stockholders. Thanks to you the best is yet to come for SiriusXM.