Kathy Willard To Retire; Joe Berchtold To Take Over As Live Nation Entertainment CFO

– Kathy Willard

Live Nation Entertainment CFO Kathy Willard will retire after nearly 25 years with the company, effective June 30, it was announced on the company’s quarterly earnings call today.

Live Nation Entertainment President Joe Berchtold will now take on the role of CFO and President. Willard will continue to consult with leadership during the transition and will remain as an advisor to Live Nation’s management team.
“It has been an honor to have worked for this innovative and exciting company for so many years,” Willard said in a statement. “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.”
Willard was appointed as Live Nation Entertainment CFO in 2007 and has overseen the company’s finances as it has grown into the world’s largest promoter through a massive merger with Ticketmaster in 2010 and an unprecedented industry-wide shutdown in 2020. She was named to Pollstar’s Impact 50 list in 2019 and 2020 and Pollstar’s Women of Live list in 2021
To help the company survive the shutdown numerous Live Nation committed to reducing costs by $600 million and secured additional funding with new revolving credit facilities. Willard was also one of the executives who took a pay cut at the beginning of the pandemic, as it was revealed in April 2020 that her salary was reduced by 50%.  Willard also currently sits on the board of directors for the House Of Blues Music Forward foundation and the board of cybersecurity company McAfee.
Berchtold sang Willard’s praise and said he is ready to step into his new role.
“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,” Berchtold said in a statement. “I look forward to taking a deeper focus on our financial operations and continuing to lead Live Nation alongside Michael [Rapino] and our incredible global executive team.”
Berchtold has been President of Live Nation since 2017, and has been with the company since 2011. 
Rapino, for his part, voiced complete confidence in Berchtold to take on the work of CFO.
“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 in a statement. “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.”