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AOL shuffles its ranks; Pittman resigns

Thu, 07/18/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

The Time Warner of old may be flexing its muscles a bit at AOL Time Warner Inc. Chief Operating Officer Robert Pittman has decided to resign his post, which opens the door for Time Warner leaders to take hold of the merged company's future.

The multimedia giant has decided to reorganize its businesses into two groups: the Media & Communications Group and the Entertainment & Networks Group. The move is an attempt to reassure investors.

Under the new management structure, Don Logan, formerly chairman and CEO of Time Inc., will become the new chairman of the new Media & Communications Group, which consists of America Online, Time Inc., Time Warner Cable and AOL Time Warner's Book Group and Interactive Video unit.

The Entertainment & Networks Group will be run by Jeff Bewkes, formerly chairman and CEO of HBO. The group will comprise HBO, New Line Cinema, the WB television network, Turner Networks, Warner Bros. and Warner Music.

"We have the best media, entertainment and communications businesses in the world, but our challenge — and our goal in making those changes — is to take the lessons we've learned over the past two years and use them to make the parts work together to create greater value for our shareholders," AOL Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons said in a statement.

Last Friday, rumors began to swirl about Pittman's future at AOL, after the company revealed it had hired an executive research firm to help it find a new chief executive for the online unit. Pittman will exit the company when a CEO for the unit is found.

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