President, Cox Communications
Patrick (Pat) Esser is president of Cox Communications, a multi-service broadband communications and entertainment company with about six million residential and commercial customers. The company is known for its broadband leadership and pioneering efforts in commercial services; customer care; cable telephone and its ability to create outstanding workplaces. The company’s pioneering spirit continues today with industry-leading programmatic advertising offered via its Cox Media division; its 1 Gigabit offerings; new security and automation services known as Cox Homelife as well as with new products such as Contour –a truly personalized viewing experience. 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 families in need with its Connect2Compete program. Esser brings more than 30 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, Esser was presented with the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau President’s Award just three years later. Esser 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, Esser was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer. Cox has earned numerous accolades during Esser’s tenure as president; many tied to his personal passion for diversity and inclusion. In 2006, Cox first appeared in DiversityInc’s listing of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity and has made the list for the last ten years. Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) regularly points to Cox among the top operators for women. In 2007 Esser was personally honored with Multichannel News’ first “Executive of the Year” award. At the 2013 Cable Show, Esser was awarded with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s (NCTA) Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership – the industry’s highest honor. Customer service excellence is a Cox hallmark under Esser’s leadership. Cox has consistently ranked highly in annual J.D. Power and Associates’ studies of consumer satisfaction including 10 consecutive years of honors among phone providers in the West. Esser serves on the board of directors of C-SPAN, CableLabs, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the Travel Channel. Additionally, he serves as an adviser to the Association of Cable Communicators and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. Esser also serves as a Southeastern Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has served on the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Esser 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.