AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case has been forced out of his post and will step down in May following the company's shareholder meeting.
The media giant said in a statement that, after relinquishing his current role, Case will continue to work as a director with joint responsibility for corporate strategy.
Although Case maintained that he took the decision "in the best interests of the company", it is apparent that the move was not his own choice.
"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," he said.
"Some shareholders continue to focus their disappointment with the company's post-merger performance on me personally."
Recent reports suggest that Case, an AOL founder, has been engaged in a long-running battle with a group of AOL Time Warner shareholders who blame him for allowing the company's share value to fall by 70 per cent following the merger.
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