After 30 years, 10 at helm of CNN Worldwide, Jim Walton stepping down

Story highlights

  • Walton came to CNN 30 years ago and has led organization for last decade
  • Walton will finish out the year and remain available thereafter if needed, he says
  • "CNN needs new thinking," the president of CNN Worldwide says in letter

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.

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. 

I am proud of what we have accomplished together over these last 10 years -- innovative programming, the development of great talent in front of and behind the cameras, expansion in digital and mobile, significant investment and expansion in international coverage, financial success and, most importantly, great and trusted journalism. Thank you for the role you have played in our successes.

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.

The next few months will be filled with election news and other important events that will require all of our focus to report the news with the quality and expertise the world expects of CNN. I look forward to working alongside each of you, as I have over the past 30-plus years, to do just that.