Michael Willner to Head 'SpinCo' Cable Company

7:53 AM PST 05/15/2014 by Eriq Gardner

The former Insight Communications honcho will take the reigns as head of the new company being set up by Comcast and Charter.

Michael Willner has been appointed president and chief executive of SpinCo, the new cable company that will be spun off from Comcast upon its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

The cable company arises as Comcast acquires TWC's assets and looks to divest some in the interest of gaining regulatory approval of its deal. SpinCo is being set up as an arrangement between Comcast and Charter Communications. It is expected to serve approximately 2.5 million customers in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

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Willner comes from Insight Communications, where he served from 1985 through 2012 until the company was sold to TWC. A Boston University grad, he also has significant experience navigating the ins and outs of Washington D.C., having twice served as chairman of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the industry's principal trade association as well as its political action committee.

Comcast and Charter also announced the structure of SpinCo's board of directors. Three will be appointed by Charter, including its CEO Tom Rutledge, who will serve as the non-executive chairman. Comcast will appoint three of the remaining six members and will fill out the remaining three slots from a list provided by Charter.

"Michael’s expertise, strategic vision, and knowledge from his years at Insight will be invaluable to the customers, employees and shareholders of SpinCo," said Rutledge in a statement. "Having him on board now – and leading the new business post-transaction – will be extremely advantageous."

“Michael is an excellent leader and the perfect choice to be at the helm of this new company,” said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast.  “His deep knowledge of the cable business, combined with his experience and focus on technology, will enable him to drive growth and product innovation for customers and position SpinCo as a competitor in the industry.”

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