Telephony Head Wren Leaves Comcast

Rian Wren, the head of Comcast Corp.’s telephone operations, has left the company, which may raise alarms on Wall Street about the status of the MSO’s voice-over-Internet-protocol rollout.

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Craig Moffet alerted investors to the departure of Wren, Comcast’s senior vice president and general manager of telephony, in an e-mail blast to investors Thursday afternoon.

“Wren’s departure will inevitably raise questions about whether Comcast’s VoIP deployment is on track. Already, the lack of VoIP advertising in Boston and Hartford [Conn.] -- two markets where Comcast ostensibly launched the service in May -- has led to head scratching and frustration from impatient investors,” Moffet wrote.

Comcast spokeswoman D’Arcy Rudnay confirmed that Wren left Comcast last week, but she declined to discuss the circumstances of his departure. Wren couldn’t be reached for comment.

Rudnay said Wren has been replaced by Cathy Avgiris, adding that Comcast remains on track with its VoIP rollout and noting that the MSO expects to reach 15 million homes passed with the phone product by the end of 2005.