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May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Charter Communications Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. cable-television provider, named John Bickham chief operating officer, filling a job that had been open since 2010.

He joins the company from Cablevision Systems Corp., where he was president of cable and communications, St. Louis-based Charter said today in a statement. In December, Charter named former Cablevision COO Thomas Rutledge chief executive officer. Bickham resigned from Cablevision in November.

“We’ve worked together for many years and I’m confident in his ability to help this organization achieve its full potential,” Rutledge said in the statement.

Charter hasn’t had a chief operating officer since Mike Lovett in 2010. Lovett was promoted to CEO and ran the company until February, when Rutledge took over. Charter provides cable-TV, Internet or phone service to more than 5 million customers in 25 states.

Bickham signed a four-year contract with a base salary of $1.38 million, with annual increases as determined by Charter’s compensation committee, according to a company filing. Before joining Cablevision in 2004, Bickham was executive vice president at Time Warner Cable Inc.

Charter rose 0.9 percent to $61.02 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 7.2 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at

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