AOL Time Warner Inc. CEO Jerry Levin will retire in May and be succeeded
by Richard Parsons, currently co-chief operating officer.
Levin said the company will implement a six-month transition to a new
According to the company, Levin proposed the plan to the board of directors
and chairman Steve Case endorsed it.
the plan, Richard Parsons will become CEO and Robert Pittman will become the sole
COO (he currently shares the post with Parsons).
Steve Case will continue to have an active role as chairman.
In a prepared statement from the company, Levin said, 'After spending virtually my
entire career at this great company, it is obviously a major decision for me to
begin this succession process. But this is a step I have been thinking about for
some time and whose time has come. Given that we are almost a full year into the
merger and that an outstanding management team is now in place at the company, I
am convinced that AOL Time Warner should begin an orderly transition to a new
era of leadership.'
In the same statement, Parsons said, 'As the world knows, if it were not for
Jerry Levin, AOL Time Warner would not be in the position it is today as the
world's pre-eminent media and communications company. Although I will miss him
deeply, I am happy for him as a friend because I know retirement is something he
has been considering for some time.'
Parsons joined Time
Warner in 1995 as president.
He had been a board member of the company with a background in banking and
Before joining Time Warner, he had been chairman and CEO of Dime Bank
He had also served on the board of TriStar Pictures.
Case added, 'Part of Jerry's enormous legacy is AOL Time
Warner's breadth of management talent and unmatched track record of innovation.
In Dick Parsons and Bob Pittman, this company has two of the most extraordinary
business leaders to be found anywhere. They have been instrumental in pulling
together the various units of our company, streamlining our operations and
pursuing many growth opportunities for the future.'