Jerald L. Kent
Jerald L. Kent
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Jerry Kent is a recognized entrepreneur and trailblazer in the telecommunications industry with an outstanding track record of delivering superior returns for investors. Suddenlink Communications is the latest testament to his legacy. Through a series of acquisitions as Chairman and CEO, he has helped build Suddenlink into the seventh largest U.S. cable company with industry-leading operating results.
Mr. Kent also serves as CEO of Cequel III, which he co-founded in January 2002. Cequel III is a telecommunications management company currently involved in the cable, data center, and tower services and construction businesses. Previously, Cequel III built AAT Communications into the largest privately owned cell tower company in the United States before successfully selling that enterprise in 2006.
Mr. Kent began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen in 1979, and in 1983 left to head up acquisitions and finance for an upstart cable company, Cencom Cable Associates, Inc. He later became CFO of Cencom, which grew by acquisition and eventually served 550,000 customers in the U.S. before it was sold in 1991.
After serving a year with Cencom's acquirer, Mr. Kent left and co-founded Charter Communications, Inc., in January 1993. He led Charter to become one of the 10 largest cable operators in the U.S., serving 1.3 million customers. In 1998, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen acquired Charter, providing substantial rewards for Charter’s private investors. Mr. Kent continued as President and CEO, growing Charter to serve more than 7 million customers and making it the nation’s fourth largest cable company at the time. The company went public in November 1999, in what was then the third-largest IPO in U.S. history. Charter consistently led the industry in superior operating results and from the IPO date until September 2001, the month Mr. Kent left, Charter’s was the best performing public cable stock.
Industry publication Multichannel News named Mr. Kent its Executive of the Year in 2011, citing Suddenlink's performance and his "stellar reputation in the cable community." In 2012, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and received the cable industry’s Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership. He was named CED Magazine’s co-person of the year (Jan. 2013), along with Suddenlink CTO Terry Cordova. He was inducted into The Cable Center Hall of Fame in 2014.
A native of the St. Louis metropolitan area, Mr. Kent is very active in the community, serving on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for his alma mater, Washington University, from which he earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA. He is Chairman of the Boards of Directors for REJIS (the Regional Justice Information Service) and The Magic House/St. Louis Children's Museum. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer for the St. Louis Zoo. Additionally, Mr. Kent serves on the Boards of Directors and Executive Committees for CableLabs and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). He is Chairman of the Cable Center Board of Directors. He also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for C-SPAN and is Chairman of CablePAC.