chief Hugh Panero calls it quits.
The move comes just two days prior to the release of the company's second-quarter earnings report. The news also follows a new program pricing proposal offered by
and XM to help sway regulators' approval of the pending merger.
XM COO Nate Davis will serve as interim CEO when Panero leaves in August. Panero's departure isn't exactly a surprise. The company had a disappointing recent history marked by a dramatic slowdown in subscriber growth and plagued by ever present losses.
"Hugh took satellite radio from a concept and turned it into the popular, mass market, consumer entertainment product it is today. I thank Hugh personally for his friendship, and professionally, for nearly a decade of industry leadership," Chairman Gary Parsons said in a press release.
Panero was not planning to be a part of the executive team with the merged company. Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has been named as CEO of the combined company with XM chairman Gary Parsons, to keep his role for the combined company.
Both XM and Sirius shares were mostly unchanged in postclose trading Tuesday.