About a year after its parent company, Astound Broadband, was purchased by private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in a deal valued at $8.1 billion, RCN said it has made several management changes within its operating areas.
Astound has been on an acquisitions tear over the past few months, and the management changes are also intended to help with that expansion. In November it closed on its $661 million purchase of systems in Indiana, Illinois and Maryland from WideOpenWest. The Maryland portion of that deal — in Anne Arundel County — is expected to increase RCN’s Washington D.C. footprint by one-third. In July, Astound’s Grande Communications unit said it would purchase central Texas-based broadband provider Harris Broadband for an undisclosed sum.
RCN said it hired former Comcast cable executive Doug Guthrie as senior VP and general manager of its New York system, replacing long-time New York market VP and GM Bruce Abbott, who announced his retirement. Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., senior VP and general manager Sanford Ames will add oversight of the Boston market to his duties, taking the reins from retiring Boston SVP and GM Jeff Carlson.
Guthrie has more than 34 years experience in the communications industry and will be responsible for residential and business customer operations, technical support, and developing and implementing marketing and sales strategies in RCNs New York market. Guthrie had been a SVP at Comcast Cable, where he worked for nearly 20 years and was one of the few executives to serve in all three of the cable giant’s operating divisions and its corporate headquarters.
Ames has been with RCN since 2011, and under his tenure, Lehigh Valley subscribers have increased by about 40%, the company said.
Twenty-year RCN veteran and vice president of customer care Tori Faulkenberry has been promoted to senior VP of customer care, taking over for retiring customer care SVP Bill Sievers. She will spearhead customer service, training, performance management, sales, and operational efficiencies. In addition, RCN said Michael McPhillips has joined the company as VP of Business Solutions for RCN’s Central Region, taking the spot vacated by retiring exec Ted White.
Also retiring after long tenures with the company are VP of human resources Ken Conrad and VP of regulatory & public affairs Tom Steel.
“We are excited Doug and Michael are joining the RCN team and thrilled to elevate Sanford and Tori’s roles within the company,” said RCN chief operating officer Chris Fenger in a press release. “These colleagues are highly trusted and respected veterans in the industry and have successful track records in their fields. Sanford, Tori, Doug and Michael are very accomplished individuals with extraordinary abilities to transform, inspire and drive positive change. Through their leadership and strategic insights, our company can expect to continue to deliver growth and innovation with an unwavering commitment to our customers. We also want to thank Bill, Jeff, Bruce, Ted, Ken and Tom for their dedication and hard work over the years. They have been instrumental in guiding our business in their respective areas for many years and we wish them a happy, healthy, and well-deserved retirement.” ■
Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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