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Mark Mays to Step Down as CEO of Clear Channel Communications

He will continue as chairman; search for new CEO underway

Mark Mays will step down from his roles as president and chief executive officer of Clear Channel Communications by the end of the year, the company announced. The board has hired Egon Zehnder International, an executive search firm, to lead the hunt for a new chief executive officer.

He will remain as chairman. He will also continue to work as president and chief executive officer until a replacement is named, which is expected to be later this year.

Mays has been Clear Channel’s chairman since last year and was president and chief executive officer since October 2004; he had various roles before that. His brother Randall stepped down as CC Media’s president and chief financial officer last October.

In an e-mail to employees this week, Mark Mays stated: “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.

“Given the positive trends we are seeing, I am very optimistic about the future of Clear Channel. That’s why I feel this is an opportune time for a new CEO to work with the management team in leading our terrific company forward.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, which took Clear Channel private in 1998, sought a management change to bolster the digital strategy of the company.

The change means that a Mays will no longer sit at the helm of the broadcast giant, which was founded by Mark and Randall’s father, Lowry Mays in 1972 with B.J. “Red” McCombs.