Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management, is stepping down from his day-to-day role after being passed over for the firm's top job.
Mr. Harris will transition to a new role when Apollo's acquisition of Athene Holding is completed early next year, the firm said in a statement Thursday. He'll continue to serve as an Apollo director and the board's executive committee.
The firm tapped Marc Rowan earlier this year to succeed Leon Black as chief executive officer. Mr. Harris has since relinquished day-to-day handling of operations and been less involved in deal-making.
"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," Mr. Harris, 56, said in the statement. His outside interests include his stakes in NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils hockey team and the family office that manages his estimated $6.6 billion fortune.
The past year has been a tumultuous one for Apollo. Mr. Black's financial ties with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein threatened fundraising as some investors put their commitments on hold. Mr. Harris' shift could further complicate efforts to move on from the drama because he's a "key man" on Apollo's flagship buyout fund, which means investments would be put on pause without him.
Giving up daily responsibilities is a stark change for Mr. Harris, who for three decades has been known for working marathon hours and making his presence known throughout the New York-based private equity firm, running operations and pressing employees on the details of their deals.
For years, Mr. Harris had positioned himself as Mr. Black's most likely successor, frequently representing Apollo at conferences and in the media. He was seen as having a tighter relationship with Mr. Black, 69, and deemed the top contender for the role.
But Mr. Black surprised insiders in January by handing the top job to Mr. Rowan, after Mr. Harris privately urged Mr. Black to give up his posts to avoid further damaging Apollo's reputation.