In an announcement largely devoid of surprises, the companies said that once the merger is completed, Steve Case, chairman and chief executive of Dulles, Va.-based AOL, will become chairman of the new company, and Gerald M. Levin, chairman and CEO of Time Warner, will become its chief executive.
Bob Pittman, currently AOL's president and chief operating officer, will split COO duties at the new company with Time Warner president, Dick Parsons.
Pittman, whose blend of media and Internet experience has led to widespread speculation that he would eventually inherit the top role at the new company in the future, will oversee subscription services and advertising and commerce businesses. Parsons will oversee AOL Time Warner's content businesses in film, television production, music and books. Parsons will also have oversight of AOL Time Warner's legal and people development departments.
Case called the announcement a "very significant milestone."
"With this focused organization and world-class management team, we will be perfectly positioned to capitalize on the enormous opportunities in the converging Internet, communications and media industries," Case said.
Ted Turner, currently vice chairman of Time Warner, will retain that title at the new company and add the title of senior adviser.
The merger is expected to be completed by the fall, Levin said.