The Time Warner Cable family is mourning the death of former chief executive Glenn Britt, a pioneer of the cable industry who transformed the company and is being remembered as someone who led with both grace and dignity. NY1's Annika Pergament filed the following report.
Glenn Britt, who joined Time Inc. in 1972 right out of business school and worked his way up to chief executive of Time Warner Cable, passed away Wednesday at the age of 65 following a long battle with melanoma.
As chief executive from 2001 to 2013, Britt led Time Warner Cable through its 2007 spinoff from Time Warner Inc. Under his management, the nation's second-largest cable company thrived, and its share price more than quadrupled in the years following the recession.
"I think he was very self-aware that his style was very thoughtful and purposeful and intellectual, and he was thinking for the long-term," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. "You don't see that a lot today."
Britt's quiet style turned out to be a perfect fit. As CEO, he recognized the growing competitive threat from phone companies and positioned TWC accordingly, centralizing the management structure and getting new products to market.
Britt was a visionary of the cable industry. In the 1970s he helped lead the cultural shift that saw Americans who had grown up with a choice of three network broadcast stations decide to pay for a growing number of cable channels.
In the early 1990s, just as the Internet was getting started, Britt was again at the center of another major cultural shift.
"Glenn and our company developed Road Runner and brought Road Runner into the great broadband business it is today," recalled former Bright House Networks chairman Bob Miron.
Said Steve Miron, who took over as Bright House CEO from his father Bob: "It's been a great opportunity for me and my career just to see the way Glenn thought about taking care of your employees, thought about putting the customer first, thought about doing the right kinds of things in Washington."
For Britt, being chief executive was more than just doing deals. He was also a champion of diversity and education. In 2009, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to a task force charged with strengthening America's economic competitiveness through leadership in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education.
Britt also led Time Warner Cable's launch of "Connect a Million Minds," which is the company's $100 million, five-year philanthropic initiative to encourage students to pursue STEM-related education and career opportunities.
Once asked about his legacy, Britt focused on the future, saying, "The world keeps changing. Business keeps changing. And that's the way it should be."
For more than 40 years, Glenn Britt helped lead that change.