AOL Time Warner Chief Executive Richard Parsons consolidated his power atop the world's biggest media company today, as the corporation's board of directors unanimously elected him to begin serving as chairman once Steve Case's resignation from that post becomes effective in May.
The only hurdle to naming Parsons to the chairman's job had been the renewed emphasis recently on splitting the jobs of chairman and chief executive officer as part of improved corporate governance practices. But several members of AOL Time Warner's board of directors serve as both chairman and chief executive of the corporations they run and find it an effective way to manage. Naming Parsons was also seen, sources said, as a way to "heal" rifts.
"I am delighted by this decision and look forward to working with Dick to ensure a smooth transition," said Case, who will remain a member of the AOL Time Warner board of directors.
"I am highly gratified that the board shares my determination to maximize AOL Time Warner's tremendous potential," Parsons said. "As we address the challenges facing our company and the industries in which we operate, I will work together with the extraordinary people in this company to focus on increasing value for our customers and our shareholders."
The company did not say what additional compensation Parsons would receive for serving as chairman. Case has been paid $1 million annually for doing the job.