May 20, 2021 - Economy

Josh Harris stepping down from day-to-day role at Apollo Global

Illustration of a torn $100 bill with Jeffrey Epstein peaking through the tear.

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Josh Harris is stepping down from his day-to-day Apollo Global Management, the alternative investment giant he co-founded in 1990, after losing a succession battle.

Between the lines: This is the latest domino to fall from the relationship between fellow Apollo co-founder Leon Black and Jeffrey Epstein, which ultimately resulted in Black's resignation as both CEO and chairman.

Background: Harris concluded that Black had to go long before Black did, which either means Harris was more in touch with the gravity of the Epstein situation, was being an opportunist, or both.

  • Either way, Black didn't take too kindly to the usurpation, recruiting third co-founder Marc Rowan back from his Hamptons retirement to become CEO.
  • The writing was then on the wall for Harris, who has outside interests as co-owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils. He also was part of an unsuccessful effort to buy the New York Mets.

Details: Harris will remain on Apollo's board of directors and executive committee. His transition becomes effective when the firm closes its megamerger with Athene, which is expected to occur next January.

What Harris is saying, per an internal email sent this morning: "I will return to my roots as an investor and entrepreneur, focusing full time on the platforms I’ve created outside of the firm, as well as deepen my commitment to philanthropy and social impact. Now is the right moment for this transition. I believe that our unrivaled and deeply talented global team is in the most capable hands under Marc’s leadership. I am grateful to Marc for his partnership and friendship."

What Rowan is saying, per an internal email sent one minute later: "Josh has been an amazing partner and it has been my privilege to work side by side with him for nearly 35 years.  I am fortunate to lead a business with an incredibly strong management team, which Josh had a significant role in helping to develop."

What Omar Little would say: You come at the king, you best not miss.

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