Skip to main content

Adelphia Creditors OK Schleyer, Cooper

Days before a bankruptcy-court hearing is scheduled to be held on whether
Adelphia Communications Corp. can hire two high-profile executives, a group of
unsecured creditors came out in favor of the plan.

In December, Adelphia announced that it would hire former AT&T Broadband
executives William Schleyer and Ron Cooper as CEO and chief operating officer,

But the compensation package to which the company agreed -- which could pay
the two men $40 million over three years -- came under criticism from several
groups, who called it excessive.

Most vocal was Adelphia's committee of equity security holders, led by
Citizens Communications Corp. chairman Leonard Tow, one of Adelphia's largest
individual shareholders.

But in a Feb. 20 filing with the bankruptcy court, Adelphia's committee of
unsecured creditors -- which includes such companies as AOL Time Warner Inc. and
Viacom Inc. -- came out in favor of hiring Schleyer and Cooper.

According to the document, the unsecured creditors said Schleyer and Cooper
are essential to Adelphia's future success and called the equity committee's
attempts to block the hirings "perhaps the most exhaustive compensation critique
in history."

The unsecured creditors added that the equity committee is "shamelessly
hoping to ride the wave of corporate responsibility to further its own parochial

The bankruptcy court must still approve the compensation package. U.S.
Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Gerber is scheduled to hear the matter Feb. 24 in
New York.

Also this past week, former Adelphia chairman John Rigas filed a document
with the court objecting to the pay package and a plan by his former company to
move its headquarters from Coudersport, Pa., to Denver.