Fawaz, a well-respected and well-liked cable veteran who became Charter's CTO in March 2006 and took on the added operations role in May 2010, played a key role in helping lead Charter through its Chapter 11 process. He performed a similar duty as CTO at Adelphia Communications, keeping the company's technology wheels on the road as it went through a bankruptcy process that ended up with a sale of its systems to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). (See The Evolving World of Marwan Fawaz , Charter Leaves Chapter 11 and Time Warner, Comcast Buy Adelphia.)
"While Charter is entering a new phase with changes in focus and strategy, Marwan has indicated that he's looking for a change as well and has other opportunities he would like to pursue," a Charter spokeswoman said via e-mail.
Charter also announced that Don Detampel has added EVP, technology, to his title, taking on product development, network operations, engineering and information technology. Detampel joined Charter in the fall of 2010 as president of commercial services, and will continue to serve that role. (See Charter Hires Commercial Services Prez.)
The MSO has also tapped Chris Bowick, a former CTO of Cox Communications Inc. , to serve as Charter's interim CTO for an undetermined transition period. Earlier in their careers, Bowick and Charter President and CEO Mike Lovett were with Denver-based MSO Jones Intercable Inc., which is now part of Comcast.
Fawaz's departure comes exactly one month after Charter announced the resignation of EVP of Operations and Marketing Ted Schremp. (See Charter EVP Resigns.)
Why this matters
Fawaz's departure comes at a critical time at Charter. The company shaved billions off its debt load when it emerged from bankruptcy in November 2009, and has seen its financial operations improve since that process.
Charter, which has been busy deploying new services such as Docsis 3.0 and shoring up its business services capabilities, is now heading into its next phase and will be making some big decisions on how its future will be shaped.
It's already made some of them, picking TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) as its next-gen video set-top platform and using bandwidth-saving techniques such as switched digital video. What's still missing from its strategy is a wireless play and a broad deployment of TV Everywhere services.
For more about Charter's evolution since its emergence from bankruptcy protection, check out:
- Charter Presses Usage-Based Broadband
- Charter Throws In With TiVo
- Charter's TV Everywhere Rollout on Hold
- Charter's Internet Cap to Bare Its Fangs
- Despite Sub Losses, Charter Increases Revenue
- Charter Revs Up Wideband, SDV Rollouts
- Lovett Becomes Charter's Permanent CEO
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable