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Charter CEO to Step Down

Charter Communications Inc. has launched a CEO succession plan following word that current CEO and President Michael Lovett will be stepping down on April 30 -- or earlier, if the MSO can find a replacement.

Lovett will stay in his current role at Charter during the transition. A reason for his departure wasn't given, but he told the Charter board that it was his "personal decision" to step down.

"With Charter on strong footing, I believe this is the right time for me to move on to the next chapter of my career," Lovett said, in a statement.

Charter's been rumored to be selling some of its cable systems while buying others. It reportedly yanked its Los Angeles systems off the market in September after failing to fetch an asking price of about $2.5 billion. More recently, it closed a deal to acquire systems serving 16,000 subs in Missouri from US Cable. (See Charter Withdraws From Auction and Charter Closes US Cable Deal.)

Why this matters
Although Lovett's staying on as Charter finds a successor, word of his coming departure again leaves the nation's fourth-largest incumbent MSO, with 4.5 million subs, in a leadership transition.

Lovett joined Charter in 2003, serving as executive VP and COO before becoming CEO in April 2010 when Neil Smit left to become president of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s cable division.

Lovett and Smit helped steer Charter through a Chapter 11 reorg that ended in November 2009.

For more
Read more about the twists and turns at Charter.



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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