WOW names veteran telecom executive Teresa Elder CEO; Cochran goes on ‘self-imposed sabbatical’

WOW's newest CEO Teresa Elder. (Image: WideOpenWest)

In a surprise announcement, WideOpenWest has named veteran telecom executive Teresa Elder as its new CEO, replacing Steven Cochran, who will step down to an advisory role.

Cochran is a former Arthur Anderson accountant who had steadily risen through the ranks at WOW since 2002, guiding the Englewood, Colorado, cable operator through a debt crisis and leading its IPO last summer. He was promoted to CEO of the company in 2014 after serving as CFO.

On his LinkedIn page, the 46-year-old Cochran says he’s on a “self-imposed sabbatical.” In its announcement, WOW said Cochran will stay on in his advisory role until June 30 to ensure “a seamless transition of leadership.”

For her part, Elder is a Stanford MBA with a 20-year background in telecom. She served as senior VP of the western region for Mediacom from 1998-2000, and president of AT&T Broadband, right up to the time when it was acquired by Comcast, from 2000-2001. She also was CEO of Vodafone Ireland and president of Clearwire Wholesale, ending her tenure at the latter in 2011 before it was acquired by Sprint. 

RELATED: Verizon wraps its acquisition of WideOpenWest’s Chicago fiber assets

“She is a highly experienced executive with a demonstrated track record of operational success within the tech, telecom and cable industries. Her passion for building businesses and her knack for innovation, make Teresa the ideal executive to lead our company forward,” said WOW board chairman Jeff Marcus, in a statement

Said Elder: “With our entrepreneurial spirit, very competitive gigabit speeds and strong balance sheet, we are uniquely positioned for the future. I look forward to working with the WOW team to deliver exceptional experiences to our customers, growth to our shareholders and a great workplace for employees. In the days and months to come, I will be working closely with our team and Board to craft and then implement a business strategy, grounded in operational excellence and innovation, thereby empowering WOW! to reach its full potential—for the benefit of all stakeholders.”