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Paul McGuinness to step down as U2 manager

The band will have to continue With or Without Him (sorry).

Paul McGuinness at U2's Vertigo tour in 2005.
Paul McGuinness at U2's Vertigo tour in 2005.
Image: Cathal McNaughto/PA Archive

HE HAS LONG been considered the fifth member of the one of the most successful bands in the world, but U2′s manager Paul McGuinness has decided the time has come to Walk On (sorry).

The New York Times reports that McGuinness, who has managed the band since the start of their career more than 30 years ago, is negotiating to sell his company Principle Management to live music behemoth Live Nation and step down as manager.

Live Nation is also in negotiations to buy Madonna’s management company at the same time.

The move would see Guy Oseary, Madona’s manager, take over the day-to-day management of U2 while McGuinness would step back and become the chairman of Principle Management.

In a statement to the New York Times, McGuinness said the time had come for him to step back from U2.

“It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock ‘n’ roll code of conduct,” he said.

As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark on the next cycle of their extraordinary career.
I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation, and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business.

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Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, has become one of the biggest concert companies in the world. Reports suggest the company is expecting to pay more than $30 million for the two management companies.

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