Skip to main content

Charter Stock Plummets

Charter Communications Inc. said Tuesday that executive vice president and
chief operating officer Dave Barford "is on paid-leave status."

The news sent Charter stock tumbling on Wall Street.

Shares in the MSO dropped 55 cents (more than 31 percent) Tuesday, to $1.20

The company said CEO Carl Vogel has assumed Barford's responsibilities on an
interim basis.

"Due to the pendency of a previously announced grand-jury subpoena, the
company determined that the most appropriate course of action at this time is to
place Mr. Barford on paid leave pending the result of the investigation, after
which this status would be reviewed," Charter said in a prepared statement
released Tuesday night.

"We believe this was an executive decision by Carl Vogel based on
performance-related issues at the company, based on the company's recent
subscriber and bad-debt trends," UBS Warburg LLC analyst Aryeh Bourkoff said in
an electronic-mailed note to clients, adding that he had spoken to Charter chief
financial officer Kent Kalkwarf after the announcement.

In August, Charter revealed that a grand jury had
subpoenaed the company regarding its method of counting subscribers. At the
time, the MSO said the grand jury requested documents relating to Charter's
current and disconnected customers, as well as its policies and procedures
relating to the capitalization or expense of various costs.