Barry Diller, the chief executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp, who played a crucial role in the Daily Beast/Newsweek negotiations and their subsequent merger, has stepped down from his post, naming Greg Blatt as his replacement.
Diller stays on as chairman and senior executive of IAC and will continue to be involved in major strategic decisions, but will step back from the day to day business.
Meanwhile, IAC said it has bought out one of its largest shareholders, John Malone's Liberty Media Corp, worth $368m, in exchange for $220m in cash and the Evite and Gifts.com businesses.
Consequently, Liberty Media has lost its 60 per cent voting control in IAC. Diller also exchanged about 4.3m IAC shares for an equal number of Liberty shares. He now owns about 34 per cent of IAC shares, thus having the largest individual voting stake in the company. He also has an option to own an additional seven per cent in the future.
Diller said in a statement that IAC requires a "full-time aggressive and inspirational executive" at its helm, adding that Blatt could bring in the kind of leadership required for the company to continue to grow and thrive.