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Insight Taps CFO Jain as New COO

Insight Communications Co. looked inward to replace former president and chief operating officer Kim Kelly, elevating chief financial officer Dinesh Jain to executive vice president and COO.

Kelly resigned on Aug. 22. Insight CEO Michael Willner will assume the president's title and Insight will seek a new CFO. Jain will act as interim CFO.

In a statement, Willner praised Jain's cable background and "history in similarly competitive landscapes against established and formidable voice, video and data providers."

Jain came to Insight last year, from United Kingdom cable and telephone service provider NTL Inc. He was deputy managing director of NTL's consumer division, overseeing customer and new business growth, and the quality of customer satisfaction.

New York-based Insight, with systems in the Midwest, had a net loss of 13,000 subscribers in the second quarter, and digital and high-speed data customer growth was weaker than expected. It's scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 29.

Fulcrum Global Partners analyst Richard Greenfield called Jain a logical choice, and said he'd fit well with Willner.

"I like that [Jain] is very conservative," Greenfield said. "I think he understands how to balance things. I hope it's going to be a good thing, and I'm glad that it [the COO position] got filled."

Greenfield, who recently upgraded his Insight stock rating to "neutral" from "sell," expects Insight to focus on accelerating basic-subscriber growth.

"I think they've got to reorient themselves away from circuit-switched [telephony], away from all the big things they were trying to do actively and just get the basic stuff right," Greenfield said.