NEW YORK—Following a dismal second quarter in which the company’s stock price plummeted more than 30 percent, CEO Walter Kempman stunned shareholders Tuesday by announcing that he will resign his leadership of the New York–based entertainment conglomerate Jay-Z. “We are grateful for all Walter has done for Jay-Z, but ultimately the board of directors recommended that he step down,” said chairman David Casey, who admitted that the brand had struggled somewhat since Jay-Z went public in 2003 to an impressive IPO of $17.6 billion. “When my grandfather, a simple car mechanic from Akron, Ohio, founded Jay-Z in 1949, he did so in hopes of providing the very best in service to our customers. We are confident that with the right adjustments, we can return to that vision as we lead Jay-Z into the future.” Top Jay-Z executives will reportedly now turn their attention to finding a replacement CEO, with COO Michael Quinlan, vice president James Clark, and CFO Shawn Carter taking over Kempman’s responsibilities during the interim.
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