Randy Phillips, former defendant in Michael Jackson suit, out as CEO of AEG Live

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Randy Phillips, who was sued in connection with Michael Jackson’s death, is out after a decade as chief executive officer of AEG Live under a restructuring by its parent AEG, the sports and entertainment giant announced Monday.

Anschutz Entertainment Group has ended its relationship with Phillips, a company statement said. It gave no reason for the move.

The statement didn’t say Phillips was fired, and it made no mention that he had resigned or retired.

Last year, Phillips had signed a five-year contract to remain as president and CEO of the world’s second-largest concert company.

An email seeking to reach Phillips through Marvin Putnam — the attorney who represented him in the Jackson lawsuit — wasn’t immediately returned.

AEG said it was restructuring AEG Live. Jay Marciano was bumped from chief operating officer to chairman and will assume a more active role in the management of that division, AEG said.

He will oversee a Los Angeles-based executive team led by Paul Tollett, John Meglen, Shawn Trell and Rick Mueller, the company said.

Phillips became CEO in 2002. Under his leadership, AEG Live handled concert tours for the likes of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

AEG had been working with Michael Jackson on a planned comeback tour before his 2009 death, which was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s physician, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for providing access to the drug.

Phillips initially was a defendant in the lawsuit filed by Jackson’s family that contended AEG negligently hired Murray. Phillips was later dropped from the case, which AEG won. Phillips testified at Murray’s trial.

The restructuring follows the March resignation of Tim Leiweke, AEG’s president and CEO, after AEG announced it was cancelling plans to sell the company.

AEG owns the Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo soccer teams, and other venues and teams.

The company was behind the most recent effort to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, presenting plans for a $1.5 billion downtown stadium. But the project stalled amid the uncertainty at AEG and the inability of the company and city to lure a team to commit to Los Angeles.