Fred Rosen Out as CEO of Outbox, Concert Ticketing Start-Up (Exclusive)

Fred Rosen Out as CEO of Outbox, Concert Ticketing Start-Up (Exclusive)

Departure comes less than a year after legendary Ticketmaster exec joins start-up company

Fred Rosen, a pioneering figure in the world of concert ticketing, is out as CEO at his ticketing start-up company, Outbox Enterprises, TheWrap has learned.

The move may be a sign of trouble at the maverick ticketing start-up company, which is co-owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group.  

According to an individual close to Rosen, the executive stepped aside voluntarily:

"He didn’t want to work day to day anymore. He’s 68 years old. He continues to own a significant equity interest, he’s still on the board. He got tired of getting on airplanes."

According to the individual, Rosen will stay on as vice chairman. Another executive said that Outbox founder Jean-Francois Brousseau, who was serving as co-CEO with Rosen, will now be the sole chief executive.

Outbox, founded in 2010, has sought to disrupt the pricey world of concert ticketing by cutting out the middleman, which in most cases is Ticketmaster, the company that he helped build into a $7 billion-a-year ticketing behemoth.

A spokesman for AEG had no immediate comment.

Rosen contributed to the start of L.A.-based Outbox Enterprises, which helps venues use their own websites to sell tickets, merchandise and services directly.

In an interview with the New York Times last year, Rosen said: “Did I really think the model that I created 30 years ago would last for 30 years? Nothing lasts for 30 years,” Mr. Rosen said.

In the 1980s, Rosen built Ticketmaster into a ticketing giant that holds a near-monopoly over the concert-selling business, especially after a merger with Live Nation Entertainment. He left in 1998.

Despite the protests by rock stars and fans, the Justice Department approved the merger. Rosen entered the picture with a plan to disrupt the incumbent power.

But analysts called the start-up a long shot. Rosen predicted to the Times last year that Outbox would generate $1 billion in sales and employ 500 people within three years.