In a surprise move, long-time Cablevision Systems chief operating officer Tom Rutledge has informed the company that he will resign after nearly 10 years at the New York metro MSO.
Rutledge joined Cablevision in 2002 as the company's president of cable and communications. He became chief operating officer in 2004, assuming additional responsibilities for Cablevision's Rainbow Media, which is now a separate public company called AMC Networks; Local Media properties including Newsday and other businesses and administrative functions.
"Everything I hoped for when I came to Cablevision has come true. I am proud of our record of success, and of the strong leadership team that remains in place to continue this work," Rutledge said in a statement. "I have spent my entire working life - 34 years - in the cable industry, but my decade at Cablevision will always stand out because of the things we were able to achieve and the value we were able to deliver to customers in the most competitive market in the nation."
Cablevision CEO James Dolan said "Tom Rutledge has played a key role in driving and shaping Cablevision's success over the last decade, applying a rare combination of technological vision and operational excellence that has delivered results. We are enormously thankful for his time here."
Earlier this year, Rutledge was presented with the NCTA's Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership, and was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Cable Center Hall of Fame in 2009. His resignation will be effective later this month.
Rutledge's departure comes less than a month after president of cable communications John Bickham ammounced his intention to resign. Bickham had worked for Rutledge at Time Warner Cable, following him to Cablevision in 2004.
Cablevision indicated that it has an experienced senior management team in place overseeing cable and its other businesses, and that it has commenced a search for an executive with responsibility for oversight of the cable operations.
Rutledge was a 2011 honoree in the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.