Jeff Bewkes will remain at the helm of Time Warner as chairman and CEO through 2020 under a three-year contract extension announced Thursday.“Since becoming CEO, Jeff has transformed the company to focus on video content, capitalized on the combined strength of Turner, HBO and Warner Bros., and delivered consistently strong operating and financial performance," said Time Warner board member Stephen Bollenbach in announcing the extension.Bewkes has been CEO since 2008 and is known for his affability and dry sense of...
After rejection of a rumored premium-priced $85-per-share offer from Rupert Murdoch in 2014 raised eyebrows, the prospect of Jeff Bewkes selling Time Warner seemed impossible. But he ended up facilitating an AT&T acquisition last October at a price of $107.50.
The transaction enables plugging Time Warner content into AT&T’s direct-to-consumer connections for on-demand video consumption that is sweeping media, as the big bundle of cable TV channels erodes. The merger bets that AT&T distribution pipes will extract increased value. Bewkes plans to stick around post-merger for a transition period, and Time Warner shareholders hang around too because half the purchase price is in AT&T stock.
Earlier, Bewkes steered his $28 billion-revenue media/entertainment conglomerate to financial health after stumbles by his predecessors–all the while maintaining hefty investments in content. He shed its magazine publishing business in 2014, and the troublesome AOL online unit and cable TV systems arm in 2009.
Bewkes rose through the ranks of the company’s Home Box Office unit, moving over to the corporate side in 2002. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford University.