In a surprising move last week, Thomas Rutledge resigned as chief operating office of Cablevision. Now, Charter Communications’ Board of Directors announced it has concluded its CEO search process and appointed Rutledge as president and chief executive officer. Rutledge joins Charter immediately and will become the president and chief executive officer effective February 13, 2012.  He also will become a member of the Charter Board of Directors at that time.

Rutledge, 58, served as Cablevision’s COO from April 2004 until December 2011. A 34-year cable industry veteran, Rutledge previously served as president of Time Warner Cable. He began his career in 1977 at American Television and Communications (ATC), a predecessor company of Time Warner Cable. He currently serves on the board of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and served as Chairman of the NCTA from 2008-2010.

Rutledge will succeed Michael Lovett, who announced in October his plan to step down as president and chief executive officer of Charter on the earlier of April 30, 2012 or when a successor was appointed. Lovett will remain in his current capacity until February 12, 2012 to assist in the transition.

Eric Zinterhofer, chairman of the board of Charter, said in a statement, "After conducting a comprehensive search process, the board is delighted to welcome Tom to the Charter team. He has the rare combination of operational expertise and strategic vision to lead Charter through its promising next phase of growth. On behalf of the board of directors, I would also like to thank Mike for his many contributions to Charter over the past eight years and for helping to establish a sound strategic and financial footing for the company during that time. We wish him the best for the future."

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