AOL Time Warner announced on Wednesday that it had a net loss of $98.7 billion for the year 2002. Shortly after this announcement, the company announced that Ted Turner would step down as Vice Chairman of AOL Time Warner in May of this year. The founder of AOL, Steve Case, also announced earlier this month said he would step down in May as Chairman of AOL Time Warner. Both Turner and Case have been under intense pressure from unhappy investors to improve the melded companies' bottom line. Replacing both Turner and Case in May will be Richard Parsons, who will assume the positions of both Chairman and C.E.O. of the company.
Turner, the founder of CNN (Cable News Network), changed the manner in which news is reported and helped bring cable television to American homes. In 1996, Turner sold CNN to Time Warner for nearly $6.5 billion and became Time Warner's largest individual stockholder. In 2000 in a surprise announcement, AOL and Time Warner announced their merger; with Turner acting as Vice Chairman of the huge combined entity. It has not been a happy marriage for these entities, however. Turner has openly squabbled with other executives of the conglomerate and has showed the door to several upper management members. Turner's resignation will go into effect at the AOL Time Warner annual shareholder meeting. It is likely Turner will remain as a member of the Board of Directors.