WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- AOL Time Warner's Steve Case will step down as chairman effective in May, the company said Sunday.
Case will remain as a member of AOL Time Warner's board of directors.
Case said in a statement that he will resign because "some shareholders continue to focus their disappointment with the company's post-merger performance on me personally." The merged company was hurt by the collapse of Internet advertising at AOL.
"As you might expect, this decision was personally very difficult for me, as I would love to serve as chairman of this great company for many years to come, and as an architect of the merger I have felt it was important that I stay the course as chairman and help get things on track," Case said.
"However, after careful consideration, I believe stepping down is in the best interest of the company."
Case played a leading role in the 2001 merger of America Online and Time Warner, a partnership that formed one of the world's largest media and entertainment companies.Its businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks, music and publishing.
"The bottom line is this: I love the company and will do whatever I can to make it successful. I believed in America Online when we built it; I believed in AOL Time Warner when we created it; and I continue to believe in the great potential of this company and its people."
Company officials said Case informed Chief Executive Officer Dick Parsons and the board of directors of his decision over the weekend. "I have valued partnering with Steve and am pleased he will continue to be active as a director even after he steps down as chairman in May," said Parsons.
"His extraordinary vision and unique experience will be invaluable, and I look forward to working with him for years to come."