New York: AOL Time Warner has said Steve Case will step down as chairman amid stiff criticism of his role at the company.
Case notified chief executive Richard Parsons and the board of directors of his decision over the weekend, which marked the third anniversary of the creation of the world's largest media company and the second anniversary of when the deal was completed.
Case will remain a member of AOL Time Warner's board of directors and continue as co-chair of its strategy committee, the company said.
As architect of the troubled $106.2 billion mega-merger of America Online and Time Warner, Case had come under harsh criticism for failing to deliver on the promises to shareholders of combining the old media and the new media.
''There was a lot of dissension inside and outside the company, so it was not completely unexpected,'' says Jessica Reif Cohen, analyst at Merrill Lynch. ''Everyone was disappointed with what happened with the stock and the company.''
''Given this progress and the fact that we're moving into more of an execution phase, this seems like an appropriate time for me to announce that I will step aside,'' Case said. Case's ambivalence at leaving was strongly reflected in the statement: ''This decision was personally very difficult for me, as I would love to serve as chairman of this great company for many years to come.''