Cablevision, whose shares were down more than 14% to $11.93 on Friday, says it has started a search for an executive to oversee its cable business, which has more than 3 million subscribers.
Analysts at ISI Group cut the company to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ late on Thursday, describing the departure by Rutledge as one of “the biggest bombshells in recent industry history,” according to Reuters.
Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett told Reuters that it was “a devastating loss for Cablevision.”
“Tom Rutledge has played a key role in driving and shaping Cablevision’s success over the last decade, applying a rare combination of technological vision and operational excellence that has delivered results,” said James Dolan, Cablevision’s chief executive.
He seems to be leaving at a time when he is needed most by the company, whose shares are down about 25% since August. In the most recent quarter, Cablevision reported a profit that missed Wall Street forecasts on a slowdown in subscriber growth.