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SCTE Seeks CEO To Replace Clark

7/04/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

John Clark's 10-year run at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers came to an end last week, immediately after the professional association's largest-ever conference.

The SCTE wants to find a replacement for the outgoing president and CEO before the end of 2008, chairman Tom Gorman said.

Gorman, who is Charter Communications' vice president of field operations and is serving a second term as SCTE chairman, said the next CEO will need to be “multifaceted.”

But, he noted, the specific qualities desired for the executive have not yet been determined by the search committee, which is being headed up by Cisco Systems' Frank Eichenlaub, western vice chair of the SCTE board.

“Do we need a degreed engineer? A marketing brain? An MBA? What's their political connection to what's going on in the industry?” Gorman said. “We have to weigh them all and say, 'What do we need the most out of any of these?'”

Gorman said that when Clark joined SCTE 10 years ago, “SCTE was really trying to get some traction and what it required was someone with John's skill at getting SCTE seen, heard and noticed. And John did that fantastically.”

Clark served as president since 1998 and added the CEO title in 2000. In an interview, Clark said that “the 10 years went by so quickly … I had the pleasure of serving with six different chairmen.”

Clark declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure, but said, “I'm interested in staying in cable.”

Prior to joining SCTE, Clark was executive vice president for the Tele-TV programming joint venture of Bell Atlantic, Nynex and Pacific Telesis Group, and held senior positions at Crown Media Holdings and cable operator Cencom Cable Associates.

SCTE has appointed vice president of professional development Marv Nelson as interim president and CEO.

The announcement of the leadership change came the week after the SCTE wrapped up its biggest-ever Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia with 11,000 attendees and more than 400 exhibitors (see Platforms, page 20).

Gorman said that SCTE now has “an opportunity to go in a different direction … The whole landscape is changing. With the industry move to realign trade shows, there are lots of moving parts.”

One rumored candidate for the SCTE top spot has already circulated: Yvette Kanouff, chief strategy officer of SeaChange International, who served two terms as SCTE chairwoman from 2005 to 2007.

However, Kanouff, contacted via e-mail, said that while she will help with the search for the new CEO, “I have no plans to take the position myself.”

September