Time Warner Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons said Friday he will likely step down at the end of the year, a opening the door for Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Bewkes to take over the position at the world's biggest media company, according to a media report.
Parsons, who stepped down as chief executive last November, made the announcement at the company's annual shareholders meeting, Reuters reported.
This is my last shot at this, Parsons is quoted as saying during a shareholders meeting. I will be the outgoing chairman after this year, probably.
Bewkes, who took over as CEO in January, has a contract with the company which allows him to retire if he isn't named chairman after one year. Under the terms, Bewkes is entitled to as much as $19 million in base salary and bonuses. The deadline gives the board until Jan. 1, 2009, to determine whether Bewkes, 55, will replace Parsons.
We still have some work to do in the stock market, but our prospects for the future are bright,'' Parsons, 60, said at the New York-based company's annual shareholder meeting today in Atlanta. I know I am leaving the company in good hands.''
Time Warner fell 2 cents to $16.49 at 3:47 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock is little changed this year.
Parsons has long been thought of as a candidate for Mayor in New York City and by handing over chairmanship; Parsons will be able to pursue that.