Pat Esser
Title: President, Cox Communications
Last Year: #6
Age: 51
Education: U of N Iowa, Communications Media, BA, MA

Why Him? Esser had Jim Robbins’ big shoes to fill, but Cox’s commitment to customer service, diversity and community involvement hasn’t faltered under him. In fact, Esser hasn’t moved a single spot on our list from last year, remaining solidly at #6. Cox had the top score in recent J.D. Power rankings for high-speed Internet customer satisfaction among 12 ISPs in the Western region. It also ranked highest in residential phone satisfaction in the West for the 6th straight year. Cox was the lone MSO on DiversityInc’s ’08 list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, jumping from #25 to #6. And then there are Cox’s public service initiatives — like helping New Orleans and the annual Internet safety summit for teens. And Esser and team continue to grow the bundle. The sense we get from Cox employees is that Esser has successfully continued Robbins’ legacy of making staff feel important — giving them a stake in every aspect of the company.

Worth Watching: Cox is slated to launch TiVo software in some New England markets early next year. Everyone’s interested to see how it goes and whether the MSO quickly expands the TiVo offer to other markets.

Year Ahead:
Oh, the joys of privacy. Esser won’t have to spend time worrying about Wall St hammering Cox.

AM

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