XM Satellite Radio said Tuesday that Hugh Panero, its chief executive and a company founder, will step down in August.
XM Satellite did not explain Panero's planned departure, a move that comes as the company tries to secure regulatory approval for a merger with rival Sirius Satellite Radio .
XM Satellite President and Chief Operating Officer Nate Davis will take the role of interim CEO, the company said.
Panero was credited with building up the nascent satellite radio format. XM Satellite now serves more than 8 million customers.
"People used to say that no one would pay for radio, as they once said about television, but Hugh proved them wrong and created a new industry along the way," XM Satellite Chairman Gary Parsons said in a statement.
Under the merger deal, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin is due to serve as CEO of the combined company, while Parsons would be chairman of the new entity.
On Monday, the two companies pledged to offer a variety of cheaper subscription packages if the merger is approved. The move is seen as an effort to counter critics who say a combined company would raise prices and limit consumer choice.
Panero could not be immediately reached for comment.
XM Satellite shares rose to $12.01 in extended trade from their close of $11.89 on Nasdaq, while Sirius shares advanced to $3.15 from a close of $3.11 also on Nasdaq.