Icahn Names Biondi Time Warner's 'CEO-In-Waiting'

Carl Icahn continued his assault on Time Warner yesterday, announcing that he has a new CEO ready to take over the company. Icahn's choice is Frank Biondi, former President-CEO of Viacom and head of Universal Studios.

Biondi would replace Richard Parsons as Chairman-CEO if the Icahn-led effort to wrest control of the Time Warner board is successful. Icahn believes TW has still-untapped shareholder value, and wants to spin off some business units and trim costs, but faces an uphill battle.

Time Warner did not return a call seeking comment.

Biondi, the CEO-in-waiting, will join the Icahn proxy fight and plans to implement a restructuring plan developed by investment advisors Lazard when he takes over.

"In order to achieve its true potential, Time Warner's culture must change to enable each of its separate business units to develop their own strategies and capitalize on their leading roles in the rapidly evolving media sector," said Biondi in a statement. "They must not be constrained by a counterproductive bureaucracy at Columbus Circle (the site of TW's new headquarters). Time Warner has the world's leading media assets. However, its share price has failed to reflect the inherent potential of its assets."

Time Warner's share price has hovered around $17 a share for several years, closing up 1.5 percent yesterday.

Biondi would, in a sense, be returning to Time Warner, having previously served as CEO of HBO.

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