Time Warner Cable Inc. Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt, who has run the second-largest U.S. cable company for more than a decade, will retire at the end of the year, a person familiar with the situation said.
Rob Marcus, Time Warner Cable’s chief operating officer, is the top candidate to replace Britt, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the decision is private.
Britt, who turns 64 next month, was named CEO in 2001 and led Time Warner Cable through its spinoff from Time Warner Inc. in 2007. He first joined the parent company in 1972 when he took a job in the controller’s department of Time Inc., which later merged with Warner Communications Inc.
Time Warner Cable declined to confirm Britt’s plans.
“If and when Glenn decides to step down, we will have an announcement,” said Maureen Huff, a spokeswoman for New York-based Time Warner Cable.
Stock buybacks and dividends payments, along with a lack of exposure to the European debt crisis, have fueled stock gains in recent years. The shares have more than quadrupled in price since March 2009, during the depths of the last recession.
“Glenn will be viewed as an industry leader in cable,” Vijay Jayant, an analyst at ISI Group in New York, said in an interview. “Time Warner Cable has been a hugely successful stock. The industry will miss him.”
Time Warner Cable, which ranks second to Comcast Corp. in U.S. subscribers, gained 1 percent to $90.27 at the close yesterday in New York. Shares fell the most in almost four years on Jan. 31 after the company forecast 2013 earnings that missed analyst estimates.
Britt’s retirement plan was reported earlier yesterday by the Wall Street Journal.