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Charter's Top Management Relocated to New York

Will service improve with the bosses leaving Town and Country campus?

Charter Communications, Chesterfield's prime cable provider, is moving its top management to New York, according to business industry media.

Charter, based in Town and Country, is the primary cable provider for Chesterfield, and is the 4th largest cable company in the nation.

Charter hired its three top executives from Cablevision located on Long Island in New York, starting in February.

While the three execs apparently worked for Charter out of its Town and Country campus for the past few months, they did not move their homes to the St. Louis area.

Two of the executives, Thomas Rutldge and John Bickham, are also Time Warner Cable veterans—notably during its disasterous 2000 merger with then-internet giant AOL.

The three top managers ditching St. Louis for New York are: 

  • Thomas M. Rutledge, president and chief executive officer of Charter since February 13. Prior to joining Charter, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Cablevision from April 2004 until December 2011. A 34-year cable industry veteran, Rutledge previously served as president of Time Warner Cable. He began his career in 1977 at American Television and Communications (ATC), a predecessor company of Time Warner Cable. Mr. Rutledge currently serves on the board of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA). He served as Chairman of the NCTA from 2008-2010, and currently serves on the boards of CableLabs, C-SPAN and the CTAM Educational Foundation. In 2011, he received NCTA's Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, the cable industry's highest honor.
  • John Bickham, 61, chief operating officer, since April 30. A 26-year veteran of the cable industry, Bickham most recently served as President of Cable and Communications for Cablevision. Prior to joining Cablevision in 2004, he was Executive Vice President for Time Warner Cable with corporate responsibility for a number of large markets. In 1986 Bickham was a founding executive of KBLCOM, a cable company that partnered with ATC. His tenure with KBLCOM ended in 1995 as President and Chief Operating Officer. He has a 4-year agreement with Charter for a salary of $1.8 million and 135 percent increases and bonuses a year.
  • Jonathan Hargis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer since April. Hargis oversees the company's full range of sales and marketing activities in 25 states. He was Executive Vice President of Marketing at Cablevision, where he played a key role in developing the company's marketing approach and competitive positioning. Before Cablevision, he held a number of leadership roles at AT&T.

Other executives would be asked to move to New York, according to a STLtoday.com article from Tuesday. It was unclear whether the Town & Country offices would remain headquarters.

Charter Communications employs some 16,000 people, according to Charter's website. It was founded in St. Louis in 1993.

Charter went into bankruptcy for nine months in 2009. In 2005, four former Charter executives were indicted on criminal accounting fraud charges.

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