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Willner to Head SpinCo

Former Insight CEO Michael Willner will be president and CEO of SpinCo, the new cable company that will be spun off from Comcast if its merger with Time Warner Cable and system-swap deals with Charter are approved.

SpinCo will have approximately 2.5 million subs at launch in seven states. The SpinCo board will have nine members, with Charter getting three seats, including company president Tom Rutledge, who will be nonexecutive chairman. Comcast will name members, and Charter will provide a list from which Comcast gets to pick three more.

Willner was cofounder of Insight and CEO from 1985 to 2012, when the company was sold to Time Warner Cable. He began his cable career at Vision Cable in 1974. Most recently he has been president and CEO of software licensing company Penthera Partners and will remain on its board. Willner has served as chairman of the NCTA board—twice—and headed up the association's PAC for more than a decade. He is also a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

“Michael is an excellent leader and the perfect choice to be at the helm of this new company,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts in a statement. “His deep knowledge of the cable business, combined with his experience and focus on technology, will enable him to drive growth and product innovation for customers and position SpinCo as a competitor in the industry.”

Comcast has filed the proposed $69 billion TWC merger with the FCC, but has not yet submitted the Charter deal.