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AOL TW toppers clean up

Case distribs over $400g of his bonus to employees

AOL Time Warner chief Gerald Levin reaped $152.6 million by exercising stock options granted under his old contract with the former Time Warner last year, according to a proxy statement filed Tuesday with the Security and Exchange Commission.

Levin, 61, also received salary and bonuses totaling $11 million in 2000 plus additional stock options worth a potential $14 million.

His salary of $1 million was the same as in 1999, but his bonuses rose $1 million last year to $10 million. The options Levin exercised were granted prior to America Online’s $124 billion acquisition of Time Warner in January.

AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case exercised $71.2 million in AOL stock options prior to the merger’s competition, according to the regulatory filing. For both Levin and Case, the value of the options exercised was calculated on the basis of the stock priceon days shares were exercised.

Case, 42, received salary and bonuses of almost $1.8 million in calendar 2000, which spanned two fiscal years of the former AOL. But he distributed more than $400,000 in his own bonuses to other employees.

Also in a regulatory filing, AOL Time Warner said it may take a “significant” non-cash charge in the first quarter to write down some investments. The New York-based conglom said its investments in various publicly traded companies had declined a total of $300 million as of March 21, as the souring U.S. economy tugs at stock market prices.

AOL Time Warner shares rose $2.11, or 5%, Tuesday to close at $43. The gain came amid a generally upbeat market session.

The stock is still well off its recent closing high of $55.77, set Jan. 25.

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