One of the titans of the media business, Levin guided the growth of Time Warner that led to its acquisition by No. 1 Internet service provider America Online last year.
AOL Time Warner said Levin will retire at the company's board meeting in May following a six-month transition.
Steve Case, who will continue to serve as chairman, lauded Levin's "vision and commitment over the past three decades."
Case was mum about any big changes at a meeting with Wall Street earlier this week at the UBS Warburg Media Conference.
Richard Parsons, a veteran of Time Warner, will become CEO. He now holds the title of co-chief operating officer with Robert Pittman, who came from America Online.
Pittman will become the sole chief operating officer.
Levin said the move "is a step that I have been thinking about for some time and whose time has come."
He said Parsons has the ability to "lead the company forward, coalesce its diverse interests, and work with our strategic partners to achieve our ambitious goals."
As for Pittman, Levin said he is "the best operating executive in the business." His responsibilities will include all of the media giant's day-to-day operations.
"Dick and Bob's new roles play to their strengths," Levin said. "They've worked seamlessly together in helping bring the company to this point, and they'll continue to make a great team."
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