Pat Esser

Title: President, Cox Communications
Years in Cable: 31
Education: BA, MA, Communications Media, U of Northern Iowa
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: There’s no downside for being over-prepared.

Why Him? Cox had big plans for wireless in 2011, but recently announced it would be axing the service in early 2012 after reaching less than 50% of its footprint as it faced challenges in achieving wireless scale and deploying 4G services. Killing off a business is never easy, but we applaud Esser for doing it sooner rather than later. Despite this speed bump, Cox has earned a lot of goodwill over the years in the cable industry and with customers, regularly ranking as the top customer service cable operators in the annual J.D. Powers surveys.Industry Leadership: Esser currently chairs the NCTA and was reelected this summer for a second term.

Year Ahead: Cox is poised to launch an iPad app to let customers watch 35 live cable networks on the tablet device, following similar efforts from Time Warner and Cablevision. The wireless shuttering looms large, but we’re eager to see how customers respond to this new addition in 2012.
The one thing I tell my kids about success in life: Make good choices (it’s a parent thing).

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