February 6, 2018 / 11:23 PM / 3 months ago

Alphabet names former Time Warner Cable exec to lead internet unit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc said it named a former Time Warner Cable chief operating officer as chief executive officer of its internet service company, marking the unit’s third CEO in less than two years.

Dinesh Jain, who left Time Warner Cable as it merged with Charter Communications Inc in 2016, started in the new role on Tuesday at Alphabet’s Access, the company said in a blog post. Jain takes over Access after a year of curtailed investment.

Access provides high-speed internet service under the Google Fiber and Webpass brand names. Service expanded to 20 U.S. markets last year following launches in five metro areas, including San Antonio, Texas, and Seattle.

But Access is not pursuing additional expansion.

Its scaled-back efforts to install new underground wiring drove a 63 percent decline in capital expenditures, to $507 million in 2017 compared with 2016, for a group of businesses Alphabet describes as “other bets,” according to the company.

Just last week, Access confirmed a withdrawal from Boston, where Webpass had missed its goals. Webpass laid off a handful of people as part the move, according to a source unauthorised to speak about it publicly.

Access also had job cuts in 2017 and 2016.

Jain was not available for an interview on Tuesday and has no public speaking engagements scheduled, Access said. He plans to focus on listening and learning from staff before detailing his vision for Access.

Access’ previous CEO, Greg McCray, left the company in July, and Craig Barratt stepped down in October 2016.

Access does not disclose subscriber numbers, but has said that interest remains “very strong.” Fiber starts at about $70 per month for 1,000 megabits per second Internet speed.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler

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