NEW YORK: Changes are afoot at Time Warner. The lumbering media giant has announced that ceo Dick Parsons is to step down in the new year to be succeeded by Jeff Bewkes (pictured), currently president and chief operating officer.

Investors are hoping that Bewkes will shake up the company and revitalize its languishing stock. He previously ran TW's hugely successful HBO television unit - home of Sex and the City and The Sopranos.

Stock holders will be encouraged by Bewkes' post-ordination remarks that he will examine all restructuring options and that he does not expect TW to look the same in two years.

Although rejecting any immediate or radical changes of direction, he pledges: "Everything is on the table."

However, 'sources close to the company' believe that a clear-out of dead wood from corporate HQ will figure among his first actions.

Parsons, for his part, will remain chairman of the conglomerate. He was widely credited with restoring its self-esteem after the ill-fated AOL merger in 2000, but is regarded as too timid in his efforts to bring the business up to speed in the digital age.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff