WOW! hires new CEO, completes Chicago fiber sale

Dec. 14, 2017
WOW! (NYSE:WOW) has hired Teresa Elder as chief executive officer and a member of the company's board of directors. Elder succeeds ...

WOW! (NYSE:WOW) has hired Teresa Elder as chief executive officer and a member of the company's board of directors. Elder succeeds Steven Cochran, who is retiring from WOW! after 15 years with the company. Cochran will stay on in an advisory role through June 30 to help with the leadership transition.

Elder has more than 20 years of executive leadership at telecommunications and cable companies, including Clearwire Wholesale (sold to Sprint), Vodafone Ireland, AT&T Broadband West (now Comcast), MediaOne and USWEST.

Jeff Marcus, chairman WOW!'s board, said, "We are delighted that Teresa Elder has joined WOW! as CEO. 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. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Steven for his years of service to the company, first as CFO and most recently as CEO. Steven has worked tirelessly to position the company for long-term success."

"It is truly an honor to join WOW!'s talented team," 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."

In other WOW! news, the company has closed the previously announced sale of a portion of its fiber network in the Chicago market to a subsidiary of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) for $225 million in cash. Proceeds from the sale are expected to be used to pay down existing debt obligations related to the Company's revolving credit agreement and to reinvest in the business. In addition, WOW! and Verizon entered into a new construction agreement under which WOW! will complete the buildout of the network in exchange for approximately $50 million. The final buildout of the network is expected to be completed during the second half of 2018.

For Verizon, the transaction secures fiber to more than 500 macro-cell wireless sites and more than 500 small-cell wireless sites in the Chicago area. The fiber network is designed to support multi-use services and already connects Verizon Wireless macro towers and small cells, reducing future leasing costs.