Mike Hayashi Sets Exit From TWC

Mike Hayashi, a long-time engineering executive with Time Warner Cable who has played an important role in the development of key cable technologies and services, announced that he will retire from the operator by the end of the year.

Hayashi, TWC’s Denver-based executive vice president, architecture, development and engineering, informed colleagues of his decision to retire via internal memos distributed last week.

Hayashi’s coming departure comes as TWC, the nation’s second-largest cable operator, is in the process of being acquired by Comcast, and was announced a little more than three months after Mike LaJoie, TWC’s executive vice president and chief technology and network operations officer, announced that he plans to retire at the end of 2014.

Hayashi, a 36-year cable vet and advanced video pioneer, joined TWC 22 years ago following the merger of ATC and Warner Cable. During his career at TWC, Hayashi has been a force in the development and deployment of next-gen cable services, including advanced analog, digital video, cable telephony, and video-on-demand, and has also been instrumental in the development of CableLabs-led initiatives such as OpenCable.

Hayashi told colleagues that he has “every bit of confidence in the succession organization I’ve put in place,” noting that Howard Pfeffer, TWC’s senior vice president of broadband technology; and Matt Zelesko, senior vice president of TWC’s Converged Technology Group, “will continue to lead a team of world-class developers and architects.”

“When I joined TWC, my goal was to return to technology development within three years so that I could contribute to the creation of a better set-top box. As it turns out, I’m about 19 years late on fulfilling that goal,” Hayashi told colleagues.  

Hayashi also left the door open on where he might go next. “I love this business. I always will,” he wrote. “While I don’t have any concrete plans at the moment, I will continue to stay connected to the industry and keep my options open. And, through my last day with TWC on December 31, 2014, I remain committed to helping with merger integration efforts.”

“Mike plans to stay active in the cable industry post-retirement, and I look forward to seeing how he’ll continue to change it for the better,” LaJoie said in a separate internal announcement. “I’m honored to have worked with Mike over the years and I feel lucky to have had a front-row seat to his impressive career.”

Hayashi, a graduate of St. Joseph College in in Yokohama, Japan, and Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., started his cable career at Pioneer Communications of America as staff engineer for Warner Cable’s pioneering Qube project. He later joined Scientific-Atlanta (now part of Cisco), where he developed requirements for the first integrated electronic program guide and helped the company enter international markets such as the United Kingdom and Japan.

Word of Hayashi's coming retirement comes as thousands of cable engineers gather in Denver this week for the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.

Multichannel News has asked TWC for further comment and will update this story accordingly.