Jeffrey Lawrence Bewkes (born May 25, 1952) is an American media executive. He was CEO of Time Warner from January 1, 2008 to June 14, 2018, President from December 2005 to June 2018, and Chairman of the Board from January 1, 2009 to 2018.
Leaving Citibank, he took a job at HBO then a small unit of Time Inc., where he was tasked with convincing hotels to subscribe to HBO and then sales director responsible for the launch of Cinemax. He rose to become CFO in 1986 and President and COO in 1991. In 1995 he became CEO of HBO, in which capacity he tripled company profits and “oversaw a fundamental shift in its content, away from just movies and fights and toward original shows like The Sopranos“.
In 2002, he became chairman of Time Warner’s entertainment and networks group. From 2005 to December 2007, he served as the top subordinate to Time Warner Chairman and CEO Dick Parsons. In 2008, Bewkes was selected as Parsons’ successor, becoming CEO of Time Warner, and then Board Chair in 2009.
As CEO of Time Warner, Bewkes oversees HBO, Turner Broadcasting System, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema, while he oversaw the company’s divestment from AOL, Time Inc. and Time Warner Cable. In January 2006, Bewkes and CBS Corporation head Les Moonves helped broker the deal that joined the CBS-owned UPN with The WB to form The CW Network.
On behalf of NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Bewkes was one of the chairs of Media.NYC.2020, which reviewed the future of the global media industry, the implications for NYC, and suggested actionable next steps for the NYC government.
In October 2016, it was announced that AT&T would acquire Time Warner in a deal worth $84.5 billion. In July 2017, Bewkes announced he would leave Time Warner on completion of that merger. In November 2017, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition, leaving Bewkes’ future with the company unknown, but the merger closed in 2018 after the company won in court and the acquired company now assume the WarnerMedia name.