News

Gerry Levin quits AOL Time Warner -- and other news briefs

Sarah Slade


Gerry Levin leaves AOL Time Warner
Gerry Levin, chief executive of AOL Time Warner, has announced his early retirement from the world's largest media company. He will be succeeded by Richard Parsons, formerly the company's joint chief operating officer.

The Financial Times reports that Parsons' appointment is seen as confirmation that Levin has stamped his mark on AOL Time Warner. The Times reports that Levin was expected to stay with the company for at least another two years. The Guardian reports that Parsons' promotion appears to herald the revival of the traditional media lobby at AOL Time Warner.

Sage profit makes City happy
Sage, one of the UK's largest software companies, has reported annual profits in line with expectations. The company's pre-tax profits rose to £121.3m for the year ended 30 September. Sage's share price rose 14% to 266p following the results.

The Guardian reports that Sage chief executive, Paul Walker, downplayed the competitive threat posed by Microsoft. The Financial Times reports that Walker said that Sage could continue to deliver growth by selling support contracts, software upgrades and new products, such as its customer relationship management software.

Best of the rest
The Guardian reports

  • Swedish police are investigating a death threat sent to Kurt Hellstrom, chief executive of Ericsson, the mobile phone maker. The threat is only the latest of several. Ericsson has laid off a fifth of its workforce in the past nine months.


The Financial Times reports
  • Siemens has cut its shareholding in the chip maker, Infineon Technologies, to under 50%. The move will give Infineon "more independence" and remove the chipmaker's figures from Siemens' financial statements.


  • Agere Systems, the former Lucent Technologies offshoot, has announced that it would cut about 8% of its workforce, amounting to 950 jobs. The redundancies are in addition to previously announce cuts of 6,000 jobs.


  • Korean chip makers, Samsung and Hynix have raised their semiconductor prices by between 10 and 20%. The move pushed the companies' share prices upwards for a third day running.


  • Softbank, the venture capital company which is credited with introducing dotcom frenzy into Japan, is being refashioned into a supplier of Internet infrastructure for the Japanese market. The company is a leading investor in Yahoo! BB, a joint broadband venture in Japan.

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