Apollo announces that cofounder Josh Harris is stepping down, 2 months after former CEO Leon Black quit

Josh Harris
Josh Harris of Apollo Global Management speaks at the 2019 Delivering Alpha conference hosted by CNBC

  • Josh Harris, one of the cofounders of Apollo Global Management, is stepping down, the firm said Thursday.
  • Harris would remain on the board of directors and executive committee, Apollo said.
  • Leon Block, the Apollo cofounder who was investigated for ties to Jeffrey Epstein, quit the firm in March.
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Investment firm Apollo Global Management on Thursday announced that cofounder Josh Harris would step down as managing director.

He would step down once Apollo merges with its insurance affiliate Athene, the company said in a statement. Apollo’s acquisition of Athene, which is set to create a $29 billion conglomerate, is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022.

Harris would remain on the Apollo board of directors and executive committee, the firm said.

Harris said in the statement: “After nearly 31 years at Apollo, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my career, where I will focus full-time on the platforms I’ve created outside of the firm as well as deepen my commitment to philanthropy and social impact.”

Fellow cofounder Leon Black, former CEO and chairman of Apollo, quit the firm in March. Black’s departure followed an independent investigation into his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, which showed Black paid $158 million to the disgraced financier between 2012 to 2017.

The investigation found that neither Black nor Apollo employees were involved in Epstein’s criminal activities.

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Wall Street billionaire Leon Black denied sexual harassment allegations made by a former model, and said he paid her to keep the ‘affair’ quiet

Leon Black
Leon Black, former CEO and chairman of Apollo Global Management.

  • Leon Black denied sexual harassment allegations, and said they weren’t linked to his exit from Apollo.
  • Black in a statement that he paid the former model, Guzel Ganieva, to keep the “consensual affair” a secret.
  • Ganieva tweeted in March she had been “sexually harassed and abused” by Black for years.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Leon Black, the former CEO Apollo Global Management, on Thursday denied sexual harassment allegations made against him by a former model, and said their “consensual affair” had nothing to do with his departure from the firm.

He also said that he paid the woman, Guzel Ganieva, to keep their affair a secret from the public.

His comments came after the New York Post reported Thursday that his exit from Apollo on March 22 happened days after Ganieva’s accusations came to light.

Ganieva tweeted on March 17 that she had been “sexually harassed and abused” by Black “for years.” She said it began in 2008, when she met him to discuss work. She “refused his sexual advances” at the time, she said.

“I was bullied, manipulated, threatened, and coerced,” Ganieva said, adding: “I was forced to sign an NDA in 2015.”

Following the Post’s report, Black issued a statement denying the allegations, and also saying they were unrelated to his departure.

“I foolishly had a consensual affair with Ms. Ganieva that ended more than seven years ago,” Black said in the statement, per Bloomberg. “Any allegation of harassment or any other inappropriate behavior towards her is completely fabricated.”

Black, 69, said that he gave Ganieva money to keep quiet about their affair. “The truth is that I have been extorted by Ms. Ganieva for many years and I made substantial monetary payments to her, based on her threats to go public concerning our relationship, in an attempt to spare my family from public embarrassment.”

He said the situation was “personal” and “has nothing to do with Apollo or my decision to step away from the firm.”

Ganieva told Bloomberg: “I stand by what I said in my tweets on March 17.”

The Wall Street billionaire stepped down as CEO and chairman of Apollo on March 22. His exit came after an independent investigation showed he paid $158 million to the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein between 2012 to 2017. The investigation said neither Black nor Apollo employees were involved in Epstein’s criminal activities.

Jay Clayton, the former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, is now chairman, and Apollo cofounder Marc Rowan has taken over as CEO.

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