In a surprising move, Cablevision said COO Tom Rutledge, one of the most respected cable industry executives, will resign later this month from the post he has held since 2004.
During his tenure, Cablevision acquired the Bresnan cable system and spun off AMC Networks into a separate company. He also launched a slew of technological initiatives from in-home iPad streaming to interactive advertising.
Cablevision said it has initiated a search for his replacement and did not offer any information on whether Rutledge would be moving to another job. CEO James Dolan once said one of the smartest moves he made was hiring Rutledge.
"I have spent my entire working life -- 34 years -- in the cable industry. But my decade at Cablevision will always stand out because of the things we were able to achieve and the value we were able to deliver to customers in the most competitive market in the nation," Rutledge said.
During his tenure, Verizon launched its competing FiOS service. Before Cablevision, Rutledge was president of Time Warner Cable, starting in cable in 1977 at a predecessor company to TWC.
Cablevision, with about 3.3 million video customers, shares were trading Thursday at around the $14 mark, down from a 52-week high of $38.08.