Leon Black, chief executive and chairman of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, is stepping down from his role as chief executive after it was revealed that he paid $158 million to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. On Monday (January 25), Black released a statement, which reads, “I have advised the Apollo board that I will retire as C.E.O. on or before my 70th birthday in July and remain as chairman.”
An internal investigation ordered by the firm’s board at Mr. Black’s behest in October revealed Black paid Epstein $158 million from 2012 to 2017. Black also lent Epstein $30 million, of which only $10 million was paid back.
One of Apollo’s other founders, Joshua Harris, had a tense relationship with Black due to his relationship with Epstein, which Harris believed would hurt the reputation of Apollo. During a series of meetings on Sunday (January 24), Harris stated that he believed that the company’s reputation was at such a threat that Black should step down from his chief executive role immediately. However, investors on the call disagreed, and Black will hand over his role to Marc Rowan, Apollo’s third founder, at some point this year. Black intends to remain chairman of the New York firm.
According to the New York Times, there was no evidence linking Black to Epstein’s criminal activities, including Epstein introducing Black to any underage girl.
Source: New York Times