WHEN: Tonight, Wednesday, January 6th at 10PM ET/PT
WHERE: CNBC's "Marriage from Hell: The Breakup of AOL Time Warner"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Former AOL-Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin.
CNBC's "Marriage from Hell: The Breakup of AOL Time Warner" premieres tonight, Wednesday, January 6th at 10PM ET/PT on CNBC.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
LEVIN ON REGRETS
LEVIN: No question about it. That aftermath was terribly painful. And-- that's what, you know, I-- I do really regret.
DAVID FABER: so what do you really regret?
LEVIN: The aftermath, the destruction of value that was painful to so many people. I'm upset that-- I couldn't have foreseen then what I see now, both in myself and in the internet. I would also criticize myself for-- believing strongly in the power of an idea, that-- a transforming transaction, which is what we viewed AOL-Time Warner as, would in fact, change the landscape not only of our own company, but across an industry. And so, you get kind of beguiled by the majesty of that language and the-- aspiration that's underneath it.
LEVIN ON THE DEATH OF HIS SON
LEVIN: It took a real toll. He and I shared the same birthday. He was teaching at Taft High School, something that, I not only respected, but was really important...
LEVIN: After-- you know, the worst tragedy that could happen to any individual, I didn't stop. I just went back and worked harder. I went back to work in less than two months. And I was fiercely determined to-- to, kind of, exorcise the pain-- exorcise the pain-- by working. Now surely that couldn't have been good for me-- or for anyone, really.
LEVIN ON THE WORST DEAL OF THE CENTURY
LEVIN: It's just a stunning piece of history. And so, I invite business schools to continue to study it. Not because it was the worst deal of the century or however it was described before it became the worst deal of the century. But, the lessons to be drawn from it.
FABER: Interesting to-- to hear you say worst deal of the century. Do you think it is?
LEVIN: Well no, I don't think it was the worst deal of the century. I think what happened was because-- there's been a lot of value destruction over these ten years, it was symbolic of an enormous change
FABER: You used the term. It's just funny. Does it hurt your feelings when you hear things like that?
LEVIN: I used to get defensive about it. But, it doesn't hurt my feelings because--, in the time of Homer-- there were epithets so you could remember who the people were. And it was, you know-- Gerry of the Knitted Brow. So, no, it's Gerry of the Worst Deal of the Century
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