"After two exhilarating, exhausting, and fun years, it was a difficult decision, and a personal one," McCutcheon said in a statement. "The timing is right for me to pursue new opportunities in online business."
McCutcheon's departure comes at a critical juncture for Time Warner, which continues to mull over different strategies for becoming a major Web power.
A successful Web strategy has eluded Time Warner thus far; the media giant suffered a great deal of criticism for its unwieldy Pathfinder site. One of the biggest challenges for the company is to find how to tie together its disparate operations with widely varying goals, ranging from television programming to magazine publishing.
McCutcheon took the helm two years ago to reorganize Pathfinder into a profitable business. Previously, she had served as marketing director for Money magazine from 1989 to 1991 and then as marketing director for Time magazine.
Recently McCutcheon told CNET News.com that she had placed her bets on revenue sources such as advertising, e-commerce, fee-based subscriptions for its online magazines, syndication, and selling premium content to boost Time New Media's bottom line.
But in January, Time Warner appointed Michael Pepe to mastermind its e-commerce strategy. Pepe has since attempted to focus executives from different Web divisions on a common e-commerce goal, according to sources.
"I have enjoyed working with Linda over the past ten years," Pepe said in a statement. "I admire her intelligence, marketing savvy, and willingness to take risks as well as explore new opportunities. I am very sorry to see her go."
Pepe will announce a successor shortly, the company said.