Neil Smit
Title: President/CEO, Charter Comm
Age: 50
Last Year: #6
Education: Duke, BS; Tufts U’s Fletcher School, MA; 5 ½ years Navy SEAL teams

Why Him? Charter rewarded Smit this fall for leading its operational resurgence over the last few years by extending his employment agreement to ’10 and increasing his salary to $1.5mln/yr from $1.2mln. But the credit crisis is threatening the MSO’s long-embattled balance sheet, which as of June 30 included $20.5bln in debt and $60mln in cash, and a continued share price below the $1 could lead to a Nasdaq delisting. Smit got an indirect assist from the bank bailout, which may ease concerns over Charter’s financial viability beyond ’09.

Worth Watching: Potential interest in acquisition of Charter by top two MSOs.

Year Ahead:
Investors’ belief in Smit’s leadership ability likely will remain constant in ’09, as will the credit crisis.

Last Book Read: Abraham Lincoln, edited by Brian Lamb and Susan Swain

Best Business Advice: Business is simple. Don’t overcomplicate it.

Philosophy: Life is short. Live it fully.

My Least Favorite Word: Defeatism

The Trait I Most Admire in People: Straightforwardness


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