CTO Fawaz Exits Charter

Industry technology veteran
and Charter Communications executive vice
president, strategy and chief technology officer Marwan Fawaz will leave the St. Louisbased
MSO on March 25 and will be replaced
by a tandem team of technology veterans.

In a statement, Charter said former Cox
Communications chief technology officer
Chris Bowick will serve as interim CTO,
advising executive vice president of technology
and president of commercial services
Don Detampel. Charter said Detampel,
who joined the company in October, will
add responsibilities for product development,
network operations, engineering
and information technology in the wake
of Fawaz’ departure.

This would be the second time Fawaz
has left Charter. He served as regional
vice president of operations for the MSO’s
Northwest Region from 2001 to 2002, leaving
in May 2002 to serve as investment specialist/
technology analyst for Vulcan Inc.,
former Charter chairman Paul Allen’s investment vehicle.
Fawaz left that position in 2003 to serve as senior vice president
and chief technology officer at Adelphia Communications,
returning to Charter in 2006.

According to a proxy filing
last week, Fawaz will receive a
separation package valued at
about $5.5 million.

That includes twice his annual
salary of $650,000 and bonus
of $546,199; a $1.3 million
lump sum; and 39,509 shares
of restricted stock, some of
which will vest in 2012. Based
on Charter’s closing price of
$45.55 per share, those stock
awards are worth almost $1.8
million. Fawaz also receives
$22,845 in health, dental and
vision coverage.

Fawaz signed a new employment
agreement in January that
appeared to give him a substantial
pay cut after this year. According
to that deal, Fawaz was
slated to receive a base salary of
$650,000 through May 2, 2011, but
that would have been reduced to
$550,000 annually thereafter.

Fawaz received about $4.2 million in total compensation
(including a base salary of $587,214) in 2010, a 6.7%
reduction from the $4.5 million he received in 2009, according
to the proxy.

Fawaz is well-known in the technology community,
serving as chairman of CableLabs’ Technical Advisory
Committee. He received a National Cable & Telecommunications
Association Vanguard Award for Science & Technology
in 2010.

“Marwan was instrumental in developing Charter’s
next-generation strategy and launching DOCSIS 3.0 and
switched-digital video across the majority of our footprint
to deliver enhanced products and services to our
customers,” Charter CEO Mike Lovett said in a statement.
“With signifi cant speed advantages, deployment
of the first phase of next-generation TV on the horizon
and expanded commercial services capabilities, Charter
is creating momentum. On behalf of the leadership
team, I thank Marwan for his many contributions to
Charter’s successes.”

In a separate move, Charter promoted Rich DiGeronimo to
senior vice president of product and strategy, overseeing the
cable operator’s corporate strategy, business development,
product management and product development teams.

DiGeronimo previously was vice president of product
management. He reports to Detampel.

In DiGeronimo’s new role, he is responsible for developing
the MSO’s strategic direction, forming partnerships,
developing new products and managing all existing products
to achieve long-term growth and the best experience
for customers.

Todd Spangler contributed to this report.