Charter's Smit makes switch to Comcast

Barely two months after leading Charter Communications out of bankruptcy, Neil Smit is hanging up his CEO shoes to become President of rival MSO Comcast's cable unit.

Smit will report to Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke, who will be focusing on the integration of NBC Universal into Comcast.

After joining Charter in 2005, Smit had been instrumental in helping to right the ship at Charter despite massive amounts of debt from its purchasing of multiple cable systems over the past decade.

In Smit's place, Charter has appointed Chief Operating Officer Michael Lovett as its interim president and chief executive. Charter said it will start a national search for a permanent replacement and consider either internal or external candidates.

"With the completion of our financial restructuring--and knowing we have a very strong leadership team in place-- this is an excellent time for me to move on to a new opportunity in this dynamic industry, and to watch Charter continue to excel," Smit said in a statement.

But the departure of Smit could be the sign of other events to come at Charter. A Reuter's article suggests that Smit's departure could be a sign that Charter may be broken up and sold to other cable companies.

For more:
- Reuters has this article
- Cable Digital News has this analysis

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