A much-expected move has happened: Richard Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), is now stepping down as chairman of the company board, and current CEO Jeff Bewkes will take over, starting Jan. 1 next year. Bewkes took over from Parsons as CEO in January this year. The biggest media company in the world has seen many changes since then: it is spinning off Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), has merged New Line Cinema and closed Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures, and its unit Time Inc recently started layoffs of 600 employees.
This chairman change was all but decided when Bewkes took over, as he had a clause in his contract allowing him to resign if he wasn’t named chairman within a year, as WSJ points out. That meant the change had to be done by early 2009; hence this move. The exact contract clause from SEC filings: “Bewkes