He is making the right decision. Parson, a lawyer by training, was the right man for the job when he took the helm in `02. He is an isle of tranquility who restored much needed calm to the dysfunctional TW following completion of the world’s all-time worst merger, the AOL hookup.
He served as the “adult” in the aftermath of battles waged between the cyberspace crowd led by AOL CEO Steve Case and the establishment bunch of Time Inc.
Parsons’ departure will once again stir calls for the spin-off of TW’s $4B publishing properties, a move that makes good sense. A partial spin-off of AOL, or a plan to merge it into five percent-owner Google is another good idea. Both moves would bolster TW’s stock and give Bewkes a clean slate.
TW’s future belongs to its cable operation and affiliated networks (HBO, Turner Broadcasting) and Hollywood studios.
Bewkes, who become COO in `05, is the right guy to take TW to that printless future. He chaired the entertainment and networks group, and headed HBO before taking No. 2 corporate job.
Parsons was right for his time. Bewkes is right for now.