Adelphia’s Regional Shake-Ups Reach L.A. as Cooper Pays a Visit
Byline: ANDREA FIGLER
Adelphia Communications president and COO Ron Cooper is in Los Angeles today implementing the regional process of promoting some employees and weeding out others as part of Adelphia’s ongoing national reorganization.
According to a letter sent by Lee Perron, the system’s SVP, to staffers, Cooper wants to find the right people to help bring the cable operator out of bankruptcy. “Moving to this new operating and structural model will create additional capability in the region so that we can accept more accountability and improve performance,” Perron wrote.
While the total number of anticipated new positions and job losses was undetermined, regional reorganization for all Adelphia systems is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month. Adelphia anticipates eliminating a “minor” number of regional positions throughout the country, according to a source close to the reorganization process.
Promotions within the Southern California system include Mariann Belmonte to regional VP of marketing and sales, Kevin Spruel to regional VP of human resources, Pennie Contos to district VP, Dan Deutsch to district VP and Nigel Ives to district VP. Adelphia also hired two additional regional VPs: Tom Carlock, who will oversee legal and government affairs, and Gerry Anstine, who will oversee engineering. The two new VPs start today.
More VP positions in Southern California are going to be filled, Perron wrote in the letter.
In April, Adelphia announced its plans to consolidate its seven regional areas into four primary regions: Northeast, Central, Southeast and Southern California. It named regional VPs to oversee each region at that time; Lee Perron was promoted as SVP of the Southern California region.
Cooper has already hired most of the senior executive team, except for its general counsel. The team is located in the company’s new Denver headquarters.
Three executives from Cooper’s former employer, AT&T Broadband, came on board in the past two months: Ellen Filipiak, formerly SVP of AT&T Broadband’s Florida region, is now Adelphia’s SVP of customer care; Judith Meyka, formerly AT&T Broadband’s VP of programming, became Adelphia’s SVP of programming; and Joe Bagan, formerly AT&T Broadband’s chief information officer, landed a position as Adelphia’s SVP and chief administrative officer.
Cooper also brought Marwan Fawaz, formerly a technology investment specialist with Vulcan Inc. Investment Management Group, on board to be the cable operator’s CTO and SVP of engineering, and he hired Vanessa Ames Wittman to be EVP and CFO. Wittman reports directly to board chairman and CEO Bill Schleyer.
Schleyer, along with Adelphia’s board of directors, elected two additional directors to help revive the bankrupt company, the company announced last week. Adelphia appointed Philip Lochner Jr., former SVP and CAO of Time Warner and U.S. Securities and Exchange commissioner, and Susan Ness, a media consultant and former FCC commissioner, to the board.
Adelphia also consolidated its local ad sales division from five regions to three in the past few weeks. It streamlined management, laying off three of the five original managers and hiring one new executive, Roger Stallard, to oversee the Western division. Todd Kuhn manages the Northeast and Dale Reynolds the Southeast. Jack Olson was promoted to SVP of ad sales.
THE NEXT QUESTION:
* Are Schleyer and Cooper planning to sell off an entire region in order to help the cable operator return to solvency?
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