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Sirius XM adds executives from ESPN, Microsoft to board

George Bodenheimer is seen at the Sun Valley Inn in Sun Valley, Idaho July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
George Bodenheimer is seen at the Sun Valley Inn in Sun Valley, Idaho July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - Former ESPN chief George Bodenheimer and Microsoft executive Anthony Bates are joining the board of directors of Sirius XM, the satellite radio provider controlled by John Malone's Liberty Media.

The executives are the latest high-profile additions to Sirius XM's board, which added Discovery Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav in May. Greg Maffei, Liberty Media's CEO, became chairman of the board in April.

The new directors will be replacing Robin Pringle and Mark Carleton, two executives from Liberty Media who resigned from the board of directors on Wednesday after about nine months, according to a regulatory filing.

Bodenheimer, 55, is executive chairman of Walt Disney's ESPN and was president of the sports network for about 15 years before he stepped down in January 2012.

Bates, 46, came to Microsoft two years ago as CEO of the acquired online chat company Skype. He is considered to be a potential internal candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft.

Liberty Media took control of Sirius XM earlier this year. Liberty acquired a roughly 40 percent stake in 2009 as part of a deal in which it loaned Sirius XM $530 million to help the company avoid bankruptcy.

Sirius XM spent $530 million on acquiring the connected car services unit of Agero in August. That deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is part of the company's push under its new CEO Jim Meyer to branch out beyond music and talk radio to other services in cars, and is Sirius XM's first large scale acquisition.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Chris Reese)

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