HBO CEO Albrecht Knocked Out After Fight Arrest

Time Warner Requested He Relinquish His Post

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NEW YORK ( -- Time Warner said late yesterday that HBO Chairman-CEO Chris Albrecht is out of a job, one day after the parent company "granted" him a leave of absence and three days after Las Vegas police picked him up on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend following the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match that aired on HBO's pay-per-view.
Photo: AP

Chris Albrecht

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It's not clear whether any charges will be brought for the incident, and Mr. Albrecht was later released by police, but the whole episode has brought to light several allegations of past bad behavior.

'With great regret'
"With great regret, at the request of Time Warner, I have agreed to step down as chairman and CEO of Home Box Office," Mr. Albrecht said in a company statement. "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. I'm very proud of what we have achieved at Home Box Office, and I wish everybody there more successes in the future."

Time Warner Chairman-CEO Richard Parsons said he and President-COO Jeff Bewkes believe that the move is good for the company -- and thanked Mr. Albrecht "for all of his contributions" to HBO. Bill Nelson, HBO's chief operating officer, is handling Mr. Albrecht's duties on an interim basis.

Mr. Albrecht oversaw HBO's important transition to original programming after the series finale of "The Sopranos," which along with "Sex and the City" had helped make the channel a must-have for many consumers. He first joined HBO in 1985 and was named chairman-CEO in July 2002.

His quick departure confirmed a report earlier yesterday that Mr. Albrecht was being told to quit or be fired.

Memo to staffers
In a memo to HBO staffers May 8, Mr. Albrecht seemed to blame the weekend incident on alcohol. "This weekend was a wake-up call to me of a weakness I thought I had overcome long ago," he wrote. "I had been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for thirteen years. Two years ago, I decided that I could handle drinking again. Clearly, I was wrong. Given that truth, I have committed myself to sobriety. I intend to take a temporary leave of absence from HBO effective today, in order to go back to working with AA."
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