Liberty Media said Wednesday it is focusing on the future of its interactive business, hiring a former Oracle finance chief to head the...
DENVER — Liberty Media said Wednesday it is focusing on the future of its interactive business, hiring a former Oracle finance chief to head the company and creating a tracking stock for the home-shopping network QVC and related assets.
Greg Maffei, who resigned as Oracle’s chief financial officer last week after four months on the job, is expected to take over as CEO of Liberty in the second quarter of 2006, replacing John C. Malone, who will remain as chairman.
Maffei, 45, said he would try to help Liberty leverage its operating assets with interactive businesses as well as develop tax efficiencies. “The attraction of Liberty was pretty easy, great assets in businesses,” he said.
At the time of his resignation, Maffei said he was going to work for another company but declined to name it. He will remain with the business-software manufacturer until Tuesday.
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Malone said the tracking stock would encompass as much as 85 percent of Liberty’s equity assets and could lead to a spinoff.
Analyst Matthew Harrigan of Janco Partners said the interactive assets would mesh well and noted that it was a good move given the tax implications stemming from Liberty’s purchase of a 57 percent stake in QVC from Comcast in September 2003.
“This is a gradual path rather than a full-speed locomotive. You can’t do a full spin right now without having to worry about the IRS a lot.”