Albrecht Out as HBO CEO

HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht agreed to step down from his post, network parent Time Warner said late Wednesday. Time Warner asked him to resign, Albrecht said.

The announcement came hours after The Los Angeles Times reported that Albrecht, who was arrested in Las Vegas early Sunday morning for allegedly shoving his girlfriend, allegedly battered an HBO employee in 1991. HBO paid the woman, Albrecht’s ex-girlfriend, a $400,000 settlement, the newspaper reported.

The announcement from Time Warner also came just one day after Albrecht announced that he would take a leave of absence from HBO and seek assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Time Warner said that HBO chief operating officer Bill Nelson will assume Albrecht’s duties on an interim basis until it names a new CEO.

In a prepared statement, Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons said, “[Time Warner president] Jeff Bewkes and I believe that this is the right decision for the company. We thank Chris for all of his contributions to Home Box Office over the years.”

Bewkes, who oversaw the $400,000 settlement in 1991, according to the Los Angeles Times report, participated in the closing general session Wednesday at The Cable Show in Las Vegas. Bewkes was the only executive on the panel that did not attend a press conference after the session.

Albrecht said in a prepared statement that he chose to step down in order to help his colleagues.

“With great regret, at the request of Time Warner, I have agreed to step down as chairman and CEO of Home Box Office. I take this step for the benefit of my Home Box Office colleagues, recognizing that I cannot allow my personal circumstances to distract them from the business,” Albrecht said in a prepared statement.