Jeff Bewkes's Internal Memo on the AOL Spinoff

Published on May 28, 2009
by Kara Swisher


Here’s Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes’s Memo on the AOL spinoff, which was approved by the media giant’s board last night and announced this morning.

BoomTown reported a lot of the deep details of the new structure of the online unit, which sweeps aside the previous one and includes a new venture unit.

Here’s the memo:

May 28, 2009

To: Time Warner Colleagues

From: Jeff Bewkes

Subject: Time Warner Announces Plan to Separate AOL

As you know, we’ve been working with AOL’s new management to move that company into the next phase of its evolution. To that end, we’ve been discussing the optimal ownership structure to enable AOL to fully realize its potential as a global Web services company. This morning, we announced that our Board of Directors has authorized management to proceed with plans for the complete legal and structural separation of AOL from Time Warner. Following the proposed transaction, which we aim to complete around the end of the year, AOL would be an independent, publicly traded company.

We believe that a separation will place both Time Warner and AOL in the best position to succeed, with greater operational and strategic flexibility. As an independent company, AOL should be a stronger competitor that is better able to deliver new and innovative products and services. At the same time, the separation will be another important step in the process we began last year of refocusing Time Warner to an even greater degree on our core content businesses.

For additional details about the proposed transaction, please click here to read the press release. I know you will have questions about this separation and how it may affect you and our company. We will provide more information as it becomes available over the coming months.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank the management and employees of AOL for the many contributions they have made, and continue to make, to our company. I’d also like to thank all Time Warner employees for your hard work and dedication. We’re making great progress toward our goals of building Time Warner into the world’s leading content company and improving our stockholders’ returns. With your continued support, I’m confident we have a bright future.

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