Adelphia Communications Corp. said Wednesday that chairman and CEO John
Rigas, who cofounded the company 50 years ago, has resigned those posts.
'After much thought and prayer about what will best serve the needs of the
company and our stakeholders, including our shareholders, employees, customers
and communities, I have concluded that Adelphia needs fresh, independent
leadership, and that after half a century at the helm, the time is right for me
to step down,' Rigas said in a prepared statement released before the stock
Named as chairman and interim CEO was Erland E. Kailbourne, formerly chairman
and CEO (New York region) of Fleet Bank and an Adelphia director since 1999.
The board named Rigas chairman emeritus and said he will continue to serve on
Adelphia has been reeling since revelations in March about borrowings by
partnerships controlled by the Rigas family. The Securities and Exchange
Commission is investigating the company's accounting practices.
The MSO has said that it will likely have to restate financial results for
1999, 2000 and 2001, and its stock faces possible delisting if it does not file an
already delayed 10-K financial report by Thursday.
The NASDAQ exchange halted trading on Adelphia at 8:18 a.m. Wednesday,
requesting additional information from the company.
The stock, last priced at $5.70 per share, will not resume trading until
Adelphia satsifies the exchange's request for more information, NASDAQ said in a
Last week, Adelphia identified systems with 2.75 million cable subscribers
that it plans to put up for sale to reduce debt. This week, shareholder Leonard
Tow said he wanted to appoint himself and two associates to serve on Adelphia's
current nine-person board of directors.
'I am confident that the changes under way at Adelphia are the beginning of a
process that, under the leadership of Erkie Kailbourne, will restore the
credibility and rebuild the value of this fine company,' Rigas, 77, said in the
'In recent weeks, we have launched a formal process with
our outside financial advisors to explore possible asset sales, solicit bids for
selected cable assets, reduce debt and build shareholder value,' he