SAN ANTONIO, TX (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Clear Channel Communications has announced that Mark P. Mays has decided to step down from his role as President and Chief Executive Officer and has asked the Board of Directors to initiate a search for his replacement. Mays will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors and will remain actively involved with the company in that capacity.
Mays told the Financial Times that his decision to depart was made "amicably" with their private equity partners of Bain and Thomas H. Lee. Mark's brother Randall also stepped down from his post as President and CFO of Clear Channel Media Holdings last year, also under pressure from Bain and company, the Wall Street Journal noted.
Mays has served as Chairman of the Board of Clear Channel Communications since last year and as President and CEO since October 2004. Prior to that, Mays served in various roles at the company, including Vice President and Treasurer, Senior Vice President of Operations and later President and COO. Mays oversaw the process of taking of Clear Channel from a public to a privately traded company for in a private equity deal worth an estimated $18 billion.
Mays will continue to lead the company as President and CEO until a replacement is named, which is expected to be later this year.
The Board has engaged Egon Zehnder International, a leading executive search firm, to lead the search for a new CEO.
"After 21 wonderful years of building the industry leader that is Clear Channel, I have made a personal decision to step away from the chief executive role. Clear Channel is well-positioned to continue leading in the marketplace, and given the positive trends I am seeing, I am very optimistic about the future of the company," said Mays. "As I've discussed with our Board, this is an opportune time for a new CEO to work with the management team in leading our terrific company forward, and I look forward to executing a seamless transition."
Clear Channel, as with many other companies in the broadcasting business, was hit hard by the economic downturn, which saw advertisers cutting outlay, but the segment has been slowly recovering in recent months. Clear Channel Media Holdings is a major player in the radio business and controls approximately 800 radio outlets in the US, as well as holding 89% of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, an outdoor advertising company. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers