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(Reuters) - Sirius XM Radio Inc named Jim Meyer as interim chief executive, effective immediately, the satellite radio company announced on Wednesday.
Meyer, currently president of sales and operations at the company, had emerged as a leading contender to replace outgoing CEO Mel Karmazin.
"Given Jim's current position, we expect this will be a seamless transition," Eddy Hartenstein, chairman of Sirius, said in a statement.
Karmazin is stepping down immediately. He was hired in 2004 to lead what was then Sirius Satellite Radio. He orchestrated the merger with XM Satellite Radio in 2008.
Karmazin had decided to leave the company as Liberty Media tries to gain a controlling interest in Sirius.
Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe