Pali Research’s Rich Greenfield, who downgraded Time Warner to “neutral” last week, has the company in his crosshairs. Yesterday he repeated his call to accelerate CEO Dick Parsons’ planned departure, spurred by a New York magazine article he feels portrays CEO Dick Parsons as too easy-going. Then he offered a long list of pointed questions (registration required) — 34, to be precise — he wants to ask TWX management (who, for understandable reasons, are presumably no longer speaking to him). We’ve excerpted a few here:
Why was TWX/AOL management making bullish comments about AOL at the end of May/early June, only to severely miss expectations for Q2 and substantially reduce guidance for the rest of year?
AOL’s overhead continues to be well above its peers. How much of the current SG&A relates to the legacy access business – meaning how would AOL compare to peers (Yahoo, Google, etc…) on a more comparable asset basis?
Can you confirm the large upcoming layoffs at AOL? Given last year’s mass layoffs, is this now cutting into strength? What is the rationale for the layoffs – simply compensating for a lower advertising revenue outlook?
Everyone seems to indicate that Ron Grant is essentially running AOL. So what is Randy Falco actually doing? Specifics would be great (and is Falco actually building an “executive” dining room down at AOL’s HQ?).
How much are acquisitions boosting the advertising growth at AOL – meaning how much weaker would this year’s results be without the numerous acquisitions AOL has made over the past several months?