By Simon Applebaum Of the 31 Time Warner Cable VPs hired in the last year specifically to work on the deployment of VoIP—marketed to customers as digital phone—more than half are women and/or people of color. To name just three: Missy Mans, who oversees VoIP in the MSO’s New England systems; Norberto Rivera, who’s in charge of the New York City/New Jersey system’s strategy; and Rachel Baranek, the VP/GM of digital phone in Austin, Texas. Time Warner has one more digital phone VP position open in Jackson, Miss. The hiring strategy indicates that Time Warner Cable is increasing diversity at the executive level through its new product offerings. At the NAMIC conference two months ago, CEO Glenn Britt noted that Time Warner Cable has 98 new businesses in the pipeline, and that executives of color are needed and being pursued to fill the ranks. VoIP created "an opportunity to go places we haven’t fished before" for talent, says Tom Matthews, SVP of human resources at Time Warner Cable. "Our leadership saw this as a real avenue to hire differently and be smart about it. We hope to find a few more new businesses with multibillion dollar potential and go the same way for leadership hires." As part of its efforts to recruit digital phone VPs, Time Warner searched job banks for African-American, Latino and Asian MBA candidates; websites such as DiversityInc and Monster.com; RBOCs, retailers and technology start-ups; and Time Warner Cable’s own systems. Executive recruitment firm Global Staffing Services Group also lent a hand. "They reached out to a lot of minority trade associations and made numerous cold calls to pros-pective candidates," Matthews says. Versatility plus merit helped the VoIP VPs land their jobs. "In no way did we compromise on the skill level of what had to be brought to the party," Matthews insists. "If we had two candidates of similar skill backgrounds, and one was diverse and one was not, we pushed for the diversity candidate."