(CelebrityAccess) — Following the release of their first quarter financial results for 2021, Live Nation on Thursday announced that the company’s longtime Chief Financial Officer Kathy Willard plans to retire effective June 30th, 2021.
Willard, who has overseen Live Nation’s finances since the company, will continue to consult during her transition and will remain an advisor to Live Nation’s management team after she officially steps down, the company said.
Willard was named CFO in 2007 after holding numerous other roles at the company and its predecessors, including Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. Willard started her career with Arthur Andersen in 1988, where she worked in audit for five years before beginning her accounting and finance career. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with the highest honors from the University of Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.
“Kathy has been here since day one of Live Nation, and on behalf of the entire team, I want to thank her for her remarkable dedication and enormous contributions to our company,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO. “Kathy’s leadership, vision and financial expertise have driven more than two decades of growth and will forever be part of Live Nation’s journey.”
“It has been an honor to have worked for this innovative and exciting company for so many years,” said Willard. “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.”
Joe Berchtold, who currently serves as Live Nation’s President, will step into the CFO roll while retaining his current duties.
“Joe has always been intricately involved in our financial planning process and we’re happy to have someone who already knows our business so well stepping into this role,” Rapino said. “Over the past year we’ve been obsessed with improving our business however we can and we’re heading into the return of shows as we have deepened our executive team to provide more leadership on strategy, operations, and innovation than ever before. This will allow Joe to take on our CFO role and together, we will continue to focus on maintaining a strong financial position while ensuring that Live Nation is ready to resume live shows as soon as possible.”
“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,” said Berchtold. “I look forward to taking a deeper focus on our financial operations and continuing to lead Live Nation alongside Michael and our incredible global executive team.”