Bob Wilson, the chief content negotiator for Cox Communications, will retire at the end of the year, departing after a 34-year career with the company.
Wilson joined Cox in 1979 as a business manager, handing financial planning for new franchise operations. At the time, Cox served just 500,000 customers and Wilson was one of just 45 employees based at the MSO's headquarters in Atlanta.
Wilson went on to spend two decades negotiating carriage agreements for cable and broadcast networks. More recently, he has played a key role in brokering multi-screen deals for Cox as the industry entered the TV Everywhere era. Wilson spent more than three decades with the same company, but he also knew how to deal with change.
"Change has been a constant throughout my career, driven by innovative technology and an increasing amount of available content," he said, in a statement. "I believe cable has a great product and a bright future and I've fought to protect the value of it for our customers. Despite some tough negotiations, the thing I will miss most is the relationships with programmers, peers, partners and colleagues."
"Bob is one of the most highly respected negotiators in the industry who consistently uses a calm, logical approach to reach agreements," added Mark Bowser, Cox's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "He's been a tough, but fair, negotiator who has advocated for the business and Cox customers. We offer a competitive line-up for a great value today as a result."
And Wilson's got more to do before he heads into the sunset. The operator is "counting on him to help us with several deals," says a Cox spokesman, noting that the MSO has not yet named a successor.