Key Hires at Charter, Adelphia

Charter Communications Inc. and Adelphia Communications Corp., two of the more troubled MSOs in the cable sector, continued to beef up their management teams last week.

St. Louis-based Charter — in the middle of a major move to restructure its operations into five geographic divisions — added two new regional senior vice presidents: former Cox Business Services president Chuck McElroy, as senior vice president of operations for the Southeast division; and former Armstrong Cable president Michael Haislip, as senior vice president of operations for the Great Lakes division.

Haislip will be based in Madison, Wis., with overall responsibility for about 1.4 million customers in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

It was Charter's third new hire in about a month. In February, Charter hired former UnitedGlobalCom Inc. executive vice president Lee Clayton as senior vice president of operations for the Midwest division.

Davis up, Kelly out

Charter also upped former in-house consultant Wayne Davis to senior vice president of engineering and technical operations. He succeeds John Pietri, who resigned last month.

Former senior vice president and treasurer Ralph Kelly resigned on March 14, taking the same position at Cequel III, a St. Louis-based telecommunications investment and management firm headed by former Charter CEO Jerry Kent.

No replacement for Kelly has been named yet, although his duties will be assumed in the interim by vice president of finance and acquisitions Eloise Schmitz until a permanent replacement is named.

Outside of operations, Charter said it hired former AT&T Broadband programming vice president Sue Hamilton as senior vice president of programming, replacing Patty McCaskill, who signed on with Cequel last month.

Adelphia — still mired in bankruptcy, and fresh off the signing of former AT&T Broadband executives William Schleyer as chairman and CEO and Ron Cooper as president and chief operating officer — added three new people, including two former colleagues of Schleyer.

Bagan, Fawaz sign on

Adelphia announced last Friday it had named former 360Networks Corp. executive Vanessa Wittman as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Wittman had been CFO of 360Networks and was instrumental in the Canadian network-services company's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November.

Former AT&T Broadband chief information officer Joe Bagan was named senior vice president and chief administrative officer, while former Vulcan Inc. Investment Management Group technology investment specialist Marwan Fawaz was tapped as senior vice president of engineering and chief technology officer.

Schleyer and Cooper were hired earlier in March after serving as CEO and COO, respectively at AT&T Broadband. Prior to that Schleyer had been president and COO of MediaOne Inc. and a principal of Pilot House Ventures. Cooper had earlier been executive vice president at MediaOne.

Fawaz held senior engineering, operations and technology positions at MediaOne, Pilot House Ventures, Times Mirror Cable Television, and Charter Communications Inc.

He'll be responsible for Adelphia's information technology and services, including customer billing. He'll also manage companywide logistics and supply-chain issues, vendor management and several special projects.