Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, has announced his resignation. Walton sent word to CNN employees today via email saying he will step down from his position at the end of this year. He will keep his present role until that time.
“Jim’s decision has the support and respect of Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent,” the company announced. “Phil will lead the search for Jim’s successor.”
Walton wrote in his message to employees: “After more than 30 years at this company and nearly 10 years as the leader of this great news organization, I have decided to leave my role at CNN on December 31, 2012.
“For some time, I’ve been talking with Phil Kent about wanting to make a change, and he supports my decision. I’ve told Phil that I will cooperate with any transition timeline that he and Time Warner want to implement. Phil requested that I work out the year and be available after that if needed, which I’ve agreed to do.”
Walton added: “CNN needs new thinking. That starts with a new leader who brings a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan, one who will build on our great foundation and will commit to seeing it through. And I’m ready for a change. I have interests to explore and I want to give myself time to do it.”
Kent praised Walton, saying: “Jim is the leader we all aspire to be: Smart and steady, tough and fair, business-savvy and respected by his team, and with a track record of great judgment when it matters most. His vision has modernized and globalized our legacy news brand, enhanced CNN’s journalistic standing, positioned it at the forefront of multi-platform branded news content and challenged the organization to think bigger, reach further and do better.”