Time Warner was quick to deny reports that CEO Dick Parsons’ departure is imminent, despite investors’ hopes to the contrary. Given the hopeful leap in the stock price, however, our question for the Board is…What on earth are you waiting for?
We have nothing against Dick. We have no idea whether Jeff (Bewkes) will do any better. What we do know is that the market has spoken, and its verdict is clear: Dick Parsons is singlehandedly costing Time Warner at least $1.5 billion in market value.
Time Warner has not denied that Dick will be passing Jeff the baton early next year. So, again, we ask: What are you waiting for? Are you trying to be nice? Are you trying to ensure that Dick goes respectfully into that good night? Are you trying to avoid being pushed around by annoying analysts? If so, get over it.
Pass the baton now, before Time Warner loses another six months. We’re as patient as they come, but after seven years of purgatory (the first four years of which were Jerry Levin’s fault, not Dick’s), it’s high time for a change.
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