Pat Esser is president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications, a company committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, Cox proudly serves six million homes and businesses across 18 states. Known for its broadband leadership and innovation, Cox is a leader in commercial services through Cox Business, customer care, and its ability to create outstanding workplaces. The company’s innovative spirit continues today with industry-leading Gigabit internet speeds; Cox Homelife security and automation services; and Contour video, which integrates the best cable TV content, popular streaming services such as Netflix, sports and On Demandsm titles in an easy-to-use guide powered by voice remote; as well as digital advertising solutions offered via Cox Media.
Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in1898 by Governor James M. Cox and is dedicated to empowering others to build a better future.
Pat’s philosophy and the Cox family’s long-held belief is that making Cox’s local communities more vibrant is its responsibility and a call to action. As such, the company is answering the need for low-cost Internet for to help K-12 families bridge the digital divide with its Connect2Compete program.
Pat brings more than 40 years of experience in cable and telecommunications to his role as Cox’s top executive, a position he has held since 2006. He joined Cox in 1979 as director of programming in Hampton Roads, VA, and was part of the original management team that pioneered Cox’s advertising sales division now known as Cox Media. Named corporate vice president of advertising sales in 1991, Pat was presented with the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau President’s Award just three years later. Pat became vice president of operations for Cox’s Western Division in 1999, and a year later was promoted to senior vice president of operations. In 2004, Pat was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer.
During his leadership tenure, Cox has earned many accolades for celebrating its diverse people, suppliers, communities, products and the characteristics that make each one unique. In 2006, Cox first appeared in DiversityInc’s listing of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity and last year reached its highest ranking at No.11. Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) regularly points to Cox among the top operators for women. In 2007 Pat was personally honored with Multichannel News’ first “Executive of the Year” award. At the 2013 Cable Show, he was awarded with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s (NCTA) Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership – the industry’s highest honor.
At Pat’s direction, Cox has aggressively invested in the company for product and network leadership, injecting $15 billion into its broadband infrastructure in the last decade and plans to spend another $10 billion in the next five years to support new services and applications for customers. He has also sought growth outside the company, with recent investments and acquisitions in telecom infrastructure companies, home health logistics and cloud services, and started Cox2M, an Internet of Things business line that helps cities and businesses connect and manage everything from cars to water meters.
Customer service excellence is a Cox hallmark under Pat’s leadership. Cox has consistently ranked highly in annual J.D. Power and Associates’ studies of consumer satisfaction, with a total of 36 top honors across multiple residential and business product categories.
Pat serves on the board of directors of C-SPAN, CableLabs and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. He also serves as an adviser to the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. Pat also serves on the national Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Pat holds a B.A. and M.A. in communications media, and in 2003 was presented the university’s Heritage Honors Alumni Achievement Award. In 2009, he was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.