Michael Lovett

Title: President/CEO, Charter Communications

Years in Cable and Telecom: 30-plus

Education: I dropped out of college after a year. I decided it was time to start my career.

Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: Pick your own path.

Why Him? Lovett may be stepping down this spring after fewer than two years in Charter’s top seat, but one thing’s for certain: He leaves the operator in far better shape than when he took the reins. A longtime Charter employee, Lovett put his nose to the grindstone and focused on getting the company back on solid financial footing—no small feat given the entanglements he inherited. He rolled out both short- and long-term growth strategies, and improved the way Charter’s customers perceive the company. His work is paying off. Charter saw solid adjusted EBITDA growth for the first half of the year, and its margins continue to improve. Additionally, service calls are down, and retention rates are up.

Playing Catch Up: To quote Lovett, Charter remains in “catch up” mode on HD, but is moving swiftly to raise the number HD channels from 60 to 75 by year’s end. It’s also launching new services like HBO Go, and augmenting sports programming with NFL Network’s RedZone for the 2011 season.

Year Ahead: Charter’s future remains uncertain as it readies another CEO succession plan; Lovett scores points as a class act.

My favorite meal that I can also prepare myself: Black pepper-crusted Ahi tuna

Favorite “going out” town: Chicago Worst thing I’ve ever heard someone say in a meeting: “We can’t!”

My favorite business and/or motivational book: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Suess.

My favorite vacation spot: Lake house in Wisconsin with my kids.

When I look at my cable set-top box, I can’t help but think that: I’m glad that Charter and the industry are bringing better solutions to consumers in how they access content. ?

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