Jeff Bewkes – The Man who broke up a Media Colossus

On this day, May 25 in the year 1952, the chairman and CEO of Time Warner, Inc. was born in New Jersey, United States. His name is Jeff Bewkes who rose from a lowly worker in a winery to become the head of the third largest entertainment company in the world.

Jeff Bewkes
Jeff Bewkes (Credit: imdb.com)

Bewkes was the son of a company executive. He finished philosophy at Yale University and went on to acquire MBA from Stanford University. His initial work experiences included jobs in a vineyard and winery and as a banker at Citibank’s shipping lending unit. Later, he took a marketing job at HBO, which was then a unit of Time, Inc. He rose to become the sales director responsible for the launch of Cinemax. Then he was promoted to being the chief financial officer. In 1991, he was appointed as chief operating officer and in 1995, he became the Chief Executive Officer. HBO was already a profitable business carrying original shows in addition to movies and sporting events.

In 2008, Bewkes was selected as the CEO of AOL Time Warner, Inc. Believing that AOL’s merger with Time Warner as “the biggest mistake in corporate history”, he initiated and oversaw the spin-off of AOL and Time, Inc. into independent companies. This left a smaller Time Warner organization consisting of Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros. and HBO.

Jeff Bewkes married twice and divorced twice. He has two sons, each from his two former wives.

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