Time Warner CFO Leaving in Post-Merger Reorg

Howard Averill's departure after four years as CFO is part of AT&T's effort to put its own management structure on its new acquisition.
Matthew HellerJune 18, 2018

AT&T is moving quickly to reorder the executive ranks at Time Warner, with CFO Howard Averill among those leaving the company.

John Martin, is also part of the departures that follow the long-delayed closing of AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. Martin has led Time Warner’s Turner unit for more than four years and had been seen as a potential successor to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

AT&T previously announced that John Stankey, currently CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, would head Time Warner once the merger closed. Time Warner will now be known as WarnerMedia.

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Of Time Warner’s top executives, only General Counsel Paul Cappuccio will join the new regime.

“Over the course of their tenure, this highly accomplished team fended off a hostile takeover by a rival media company (Fox), put in place plans to consolidate the New York-based offices into the Hudson Yards complex (which will be the most advanced office space in New York), and successfully restructured the company, ultimately positioning us to succeed in this new chapter,” Stankey said in a memo to employees.

Several of the departing Time Warner executives are set to receive payouts from the merger, including $42.7 million for Averill.

The merger closed last week after a federal judge rule the combination of AT&T’s media distribution business and Time Warner’s content was not anticompetitive, rejecting an antitrust challenge brought by the Department of Justice.

Before being appointed Time Warner CFO, Averill served as finance chief of Time Inc. for six years. He was also previously finance chief at NBC Universal Television.

In his memo, Stankey said AT&T intended for the daily operations of HBO, Turner, and Warner Brothers to “see little change.”

“We have a unique opportunity to truly lead in the transformation that’s taking place across media and entertainment, direct-to-consumer distribution and technology,” he said.