Back in January, Apollo Global Management founder Leon Black successfully fought for the right to remain the private equity giant’s CEO until he turned 70 later this year, and its chairman until whenever the hell he feels like it. After all, those investigations he and his firm had done and commissioned into his relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had unequivocally proven he’d done nothing wrong or even slightly questionable in funneling nearly $200 million to a sex trafficker. He was going to go out on his own, dignified terms, no matter what co-founder Josh Harris and Apollo’s clients thought.

Although, on second thought, Black has decided that perhaps Harris was on to something, and thensome.

Black, who co-founded Apollo 31 years ago, stepped down as the company’s chairman, with Jay Clayton, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chief, taking over as non-executive chairman…. “The relentless public attention and media scrutiny concerning my relationship with Jeffrey Epstein - even though the exhaustive Dechert report concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing on my part — have taken a toll on my health and have caused me to wish to take some time away from the public spotlight that comes with my daily involvement with this great public company,” Black said in a letter to Apollo’s board of directors…. “I thus view this as the ideal moment to step back and focus on my family, my wife Debra’s and my health issues, and my many other interests,” he added.

We’re sure one of those many other interests is thrilled that he’ll be able to play an even more active role. It’s only just too bad that he and the family can’t focus on one another in at least one of their accustomed tropical retreats, so as to better recuperate in advance of the next chapter.

Black said he will remain Apollo’s single largest shareholder and hopes to return to the company at some point.

Hopes that we know are universally shared all around at 9 West 57th.

Leon Black leaves Apollo executive roles after Epstein investigation [Reuters]

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