America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. chiefs Thursday
introduced the management team that will direct the operations of the
merged companies. American Online (AOL)
restructured its assets to capitalize on the media and communications
opportunities the completed deal offers.
Steve Case, AOL chairman and chief executive officer and Gerald M. Levin,
Time Warner (TWX)
chairman and chief executive announced the merged company’s management team
and organization plans, which will take effect when the merger closes in
Case will be named AOL Time Warner’s chairman of the board while Levin
retains his chief executive officer status.
Case said that the revamped company organizational structure would best use
the combined talents of the two companies while it integrated its
converging Internet, media and communications businesses, as well as
position AOL Time Warner to capitalize quickly on opportunities presented
by the Internet’s next growth spurt.
“Today’s announcement marks a very significant milestone for AOL Time
Warner. We are moving quickly to ensure that AOL Time Warner fulfills its
unique potential as the first media and communications company truly
powered by the Internet,” Case said.
“With this focused organization and world-class management team, we will be
perfectly positioned to capitalize on the enormous opportunities in the
converging Internet, communications and media industries,” Case added. “As
the Internet moves into the next stage of its global development, we
believe AOL Time Warner’s unmatched content, brands and consumer
relationships will be keys to our success.”
AOL Time Warner will be organized around its core growth drivers, including
subscription services, advertising and commerce, and content. Case contends
that the structure would maximize the value of the company’s unique
combination of brands and other assets, and to drive future growth.
Levin said the merger is on track to close this fall and that AOL Time
Warner will be able to deliver superior benefits to both consumers and
shareholders while maintaining its journalistic integrity.
“Our goal is to move fast and to move smartly,” Levin said. “This
organization, built around our critical growth drivers, will enable us to
do just that.”
“We will make the most of the talented people across the company, with a
streamlined and empowered organization designed to ensure the highest level
of execution,” Levin added. “At the same time, we are absolutely committed
to maintaining the most rigorous journalistic integrity and creative
excellence, as we have throughout our history.”
Bob Pittman, currently AOL president and chief operating officer will share
co-chief operating officeer responsibilities with Time Warner President
Dick Parsons. Pittman will take on overseeing subscription services, as
well as advertising and commerce businesses segments. Parsons will focus on
the merged company’s content businesses in film, television production,
music and books, as well as legal and personnel development functions. Both
will report to Levin.
Case expressed full confidence in the AOL-Time Warner management team’s
ability to become a respected global leader a converged Internet-media world.
“Our combined company will have an unsurpassed ability to drive the
development of the interactive medium while delivering a strong, consistent
earnings performance,” Case said. “Jerry and I are confident that Bob
Pittman and Dick Parsons will provide the leadership for AOL Time Warner to
become the most valuable and respected company in the world.”
Ted Turner, currently Time Warner’s Vice
Chairman, will become maintain the
same title with AOL Time Warner and will assume the additional role as a
Barry Schuler, presently AOL interactive services president will become
chairman and chief executive officer of America Online Inc. and assume
Pittman’s current responsibilities.
Cable’s Joseph J. Collins, Time
Inc.’s Don Logan, Home Box Office’s
Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Turner Broadcasting
System’s Terrence F. McGuirk, and The
WB Television Network’s Jamie Kellner chief executive officers will
report with Schuler to Pittman.
David M. Colburn, currently President of America Online Business Affairs,
will become President of Business Development for the new company’s
subscription services and advertising and commerce businesses.
Warner Bros.’s Barry M. Meyer, New Line Cinema’s Robert Shaye, Warner Music Group’s Roger
Ames, and Time Warner Trade
Publishing’s Laurence J. Kirshbaum, chief executive officers will
report to Parsons.
Paul T. Cappuccio, currently AOL senior vice president and general counsel
is to become Executive Vice President and General Counsel of AOL Time Warner.
Levin said the merged company would step outside of the box to historically
draw from the mega-company’s ability to collaborate on fulfilling its
“As we enter the Internet Century, the accelerating convergence of both
technologies and markets makes it imperative for AOL Time Warner to step
beyond historical lines of organization in order to best serve our
customers and shareholders,” Levin said. “Just as Steve has focused on
making teamwork and collaboration across America Online one of his top
priorities, we are committed to the same operating principles at the new
Case concluded that it does not matter where the content originates, the
merged AOL Time Warner remains committed to its customer base.
“To best serve our customers, we are committed to offering a broad choice
of the best content available, regardless of who produces it, and to
distributing our own content as widely as possible on a variety of
platforms, and this new organization reflects that commitment,” Case said.