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Charter loses another top exec

Thu, 09/16/2004 - 8:00pm
George Mannes

Copyright 2004

TheStreet.com

September 17, 2004 Friday 10:50 AM Eastern Time

Charter Communications lost its second top executive in a month Friday with the resignation of operating chief Maggie Bellville.

The St. Louis cable operator didn't cite a reason for Bellville's departure, but said she would be replaced primarily by Mike Lovett. Lovett was promoted to executive vice president, operations and customer care, reporting to CEO Carl Vogel. Lovett was senior vice president, Midwest Division operations.

"We have appreciated Maggie's positive contributions over the past two years, and respect her decision to depart the company," Vogel said in a Friday morning press release. "Mike Lovett has over 20 years of operations expertise and has proven himself to be a tremendous asset to our executive team."

Bellville will leave effective Sept. 30. The news comes as Charter continues to search for a chief financial officer in the wake of last month's sudden departure of finance chief Michael Huseby. On Sept. 2, Charter named Derek Chang and Paul Martin as interim chief financial officers until a permanent successor is found. Huseby left in August to take the top finance spot at cable rival Cablevision.

In a Friday 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Charter said Bellville will have the right to receive 65 weeks of base pay based on an annual base of $625,000, plus usual compensation for all accrued vacation and other leave time. Any stock options granted will continue to vest during the salary continuation period.

Bellville will have 60 days after the expiration of the salary continuation period to exercise any outstanding vested options at the applicable exercise prices established at each grant date.

Charter said Bellville is entitled to receive relocation benefits and outplacement assistance, and that her previous contract will be terminated except for certain nondisclosure and confidentiality pacts. Bellville waived a right to any bonus or incentive plan and released Charter from any claims arising out of or based upon any facts occurring prior to the date of her new agreement with the company.

On Friday, Charter sank 13 cents to $3.02. Like other cable stocks, Charter's shares have sunk in recent months, dropping from a January 52-week high of $5.69.

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