Time Warner (TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes has a message for the company. In “so many words,” according to MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman: “Perform or be gone at Time Warner.”
“That is the new mantra under Jeff Bewkes,” Friedman said in a WSJ.com video (watch below).
Bewkes was hired to bring in that bottom-line mentality to the company and cut some loose strings. He already has with AOL and Time Warner Cable. All divisions better perform very well or else they’ll be gone too.
Of course, he stressed, he expects the publishing division to show earnings growth and make significant progress in its digital transformation. Long story short, Bewkes will hold on to Time Inc. — or any other asset — “if it fits Time Warner.”
But what if Time Inc. doesn’t meet his objectives?
“If they can’t,” he said with a shrug, “they’re better candidates for private ownerships.”
In a snapshot, that’s Bewkes’ blunt message to all of Time Warner’s divisions: perform or hit the road.
Bewkes’ bottom-line mentality strikes me as a reassuring sign for Time Warner shareholders. It is probably an outgrowth of his background at Time Warner’s HBO unit, where the television-industry mantra is always: Bring in the viewers. Show growth. Make money. Or your show gets canceled — and no hard feelings, OK?
“We’re not complacent,” Bewkes stressed.
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