Following weeks of rumors that his ousting was on the way, Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons announced his resignation effective January 1. On Monday, the media giant's board of directors announced that it has elected Jeffrey Bewkes, currently the company's president and chief operating officer, to Parsons' post.
"Dick Parsons has done an outstanding job during his tenure as chief executive officer," said Robert C. Clark, the board's chairman of the nominating and governance committee. "The board is grateful for Dick's exceptional leadership in turning this company around and putting it on a solid foundation for the future. We look forward to working with Jeff Bewkes as he assumes the leadership of Time Warner going forward."
Time Warner has had a rough time recently, with its AOL merger ultimately turning into a debacle--AOL founder Steve Case stepped down from the Time Warner board in 2005, and the former online power player laid off a fifth of its workforce in October. The tepid temperature of Time Warner's stock has been relatively unmoved by activist investor Carl Icahn's stake.
Parsons, who has a background in politics and was rumored in 2006 to be eyeing a New York mayoral run, will remain chairman of the company. He had been on Time Warner's board since 1991, president since 1995, and CEO since 2001.
"Jeff is a well-respected business executive both inside and outside the company. His results-oriented management style and deep industry knowledge will be invaluable as he drives growth at Time Warner," Parsons said of his replacement. "Throughout his career, Jeff has demonstrated the capacity to generate industry-leading performances at our businesses, whether measured in terms of financial, operational or creative successes. We have had a terrific working partnership, and I am proud of what we accomplished together."
Bewkes was previously the chairman of Time Warner's entertainment and networks group, and before that, he was at the helm of HBO.