NEW YORK (AP) _ Leo J. Hindery Jr., who heads AT&T Corp.’s huge cable television operations, is leaving the company.
AT&T announced today that Hindery, 51, was going to ``pursue other interests″ but would continue as a strategic adviser on cable issues to AT&T’s chairman and chief executive C. Michael Armstrong.
As head of the cable division, Hindery also directed AT&T’s developing efforts to break into the local telephone market by offering phone service over cable TV lines.
Hindery had been president of Tele-Communications Inc., the huge cable TV company acquired by AT&T in a deal announced in mid-1998 and closed in March.
Since then, AT&T has also reached a deal for another big cable TV company, MediaOne. That deal is expected to close early next year.
The two cable purchases will make AT&T the largest cable TV system owner in the U.S. with more than 24 million subscribers as well as being the largest provider of long-distance phone service.
Adele Ambrose, a spokeswoman for AT&T, said Hindery’s departure ``was a mutual decision that has evolved over several months″ and denied that he had been forced out.
In a statement, Armstrong said AT&T’s plans to roll out new cable services remain on target, including plans to offer phone service over cable lines in eight cities by the end of the year.
Daniel E. Somers, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of AT&T, will temporarily assume responsibility for AT&T’s cable operations while a search begins for a permanent successor.
Before joining AT&T in 1997, Somers was chairman and CEO of Bell Cablemedia PLC, a cable television and communications company in the United Kingdom.