Dr. Feelgood, aka Vogel
Charter picks media vet to restore confidence on Wall Street
By John M. Higgins -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/14/2001 8:00:00 PM
In the past decade, Carl Vogel has been CFO of a cable company, president of three DBS companies, and CEO (for a month) of a telephone company, among other things. But last week, Vogel got a new job: confidence man.
The most immediate task of the newly christened president and CEO of Charter Communications Inc. is to restore the confidence that Wall Street has had in the company's smooth management. That confidence was shattered three weeks ago when Jerry Kent abruptly left the company, citing friction with controlling shareholder Paul Allen, the multibillionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp.
Investors liked Charter's strong operating performance under Kent. Concern that Kent was pivotal in that growth spurred a 40% decline in Charter's stock price. That cost Allen about $2 billion.
It will take months for ex-Liberty Media executive Vogel to demonstrate whether he can continue Charter's track record. "I think I need to provide some leadership certainly," he said.
Vogel's recent gig was essentially "fighting fires," as one cable executive put it, for Liberty Chairman John Malone, taking on projects or crises as needed.
He was most recently a senior vice president of Liberty and CEO of Liberty Satellite, an amalgam of investments in broadband satellite and ailing hotel pay-per-view provider On Command.
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