Ticketmaster to meet it’s match?


Anschutz Entertainment Group will roll out its much-hyped challenge to chief rival Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster this Saturday. So the battle is on. AEG has partnered with start-up Outbox Technology to form AXS with a plan to sell tickets through more than 100 arenas and theaters by the end of 2012. AEG — which owns L.A.’s Staples Center and London’s 02 Arena — was Ticketmaster’s biggest client, so not only will the loss hurt Ticketmaster’s bottom line but the new entity could challenge.


Ticketmaster’s dominance in this cutthroat biz. Turns out that a primary architect of AEG’s Outbox strategy is none other than Fred Rosen, who was Ticketmaster’s CEO in the 1980s and masterminded the company’s rise by creating a centralized ticket sales system used by the venues. The revenues came from service fees which, as anyone who’s bought a ticket to a live event in the past 20 years knows, have spiraled higher and higher. The AEG plan instead has the venues selling the tickets themselves via Outbox software that can be customized. AEG’s expansion into the ticket-sales business was seen as inevitable after the U.S. Justice Department approved the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger in 2010. But as a condition for that merger, the feds insisted that AEG have the opportunity to license Ticketmaster’s software. AEG ultimately chose to go with Outbox instead.

Steve Jobs steps down at CEO

Legendary leader Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple (AAPL) , the company he co-founded and saved from the brink of disaster 14 years ago.


Steve Jobs

Jobs, who survived pancreatic cancer, has been on medical leave since Jan. 17. Neither he nor the company have stated his latest health issues. It’s his third medical leave in six years.


In a statement, Apple’s board said Jobs had been elected chairman, and that Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has been named the new CEO. Cook has run the day-to-day operations during Jobs’ leave, and has received good reviews for his work. But Jobs retained a huge influence over the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Jobs left Apple after losing a power struggle with former CEO John Sculley in 1985, but returned in 1997 when the company was struggling to survive.

Jobs then oversaw the development of the iPod music player, iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet, among other top-selling products that has made Apple the U.S. publicly traded company with the second-largest market cap and the technology leader in many fields.

“Steve’s extraordinary leadership vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” Apple director Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said in a statement.

In a letter to the board, Jobs said:

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

“As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

“I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”