It's been nearly a month since the original reports that Paul McGuinness was stepping aside as U2's manager, and the band members have now finally confirmed the news and issued their first comments on the management change.
A statement on U2.com -- signed by all four band members -- confirms that a new management contract was signed this week with Live Nation and Guy Oseary, who also serves as Madonna's manager (since 2005). The statement goes on to thank McGuinness, who's been the only real manager U2 has had since the band formed in the late 1970s.
Here's the full text of U2's statement:
This week U2 finalised and signed a new management contract with Live Nation and Guy Oseary.
The band now want to publicly thank Paul McGuinness for his extraordinary leadership, guidance and friendship over the last 35 years.
Paul has saved us from ourselves many times over and we would not be U2 without him.
Sometime soon, U2 will begin a new adventure around the world and we totally understand and respect Paul's desire to not run away with the circus – AGAIN.
Perhaps more than any music management operation in history, Paul, alongside Trevor, Keryn and the team at Principle Management has always fought for our rights, for our music, for our fans and for the principles that we and he believe in. His central lesson was that if you cared for your "art", you must also "take care of business" as historically with rock and roll bands, the latter has undone the former.
We are relieved he will remain on as the mentor-in-chief.
We've known Guy for a long, long time, and we're excited that with Paul's blessing he's agreed to take us on. He is a brilliant man with a lot of energy, and knows he has got some big shoes to fill.'
Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry
The statement, much like the original report in early November, is still vague as to what McGuinness' exact role will be and how much involvement he'll have with the band in the future. The term "mentor-in-chief" makes it sound like the band might seek his help only in extraordinary circumstances. Two paragraphs earlier, the message is clear that McGuinness won't be on the road with U2 for the band's expected 2014 tour in support of a new album -- rumored to be out in March/April.