President & CEO, Cox Communications
Pat Esser is the president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications, Inc., a multiservice broadband communications and entertainment company with more than 6 million residential and commercial customers.
Esser brings 30 years of experience in cable and telecommunications to bear on his role as Cox's top executive, a position he's 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 of the company. In 2006, Cox debuted in DiversityInc's listing of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and in three years, the company scaled the list from its initial ranking at number 32 to its' ranking at number 6 in 2008. In 2008, DiversityInc also ranked Cox within the Top 10 Workplaces for African Americans, and the Women in Cable Television (WICT) Foundation named Cox the Best Operator for Women in Cable for the sixth straight year. In 2006, Cox was named the top employer in cable by CableWorld, and in 2007 Esser was personally distinguished with recognition as Multichannel News' first "Executive of the Year."
Customer service excellence remains a Cox hallmark under Esser's leadership. Cox ranks highly in annual J.D. Power and Associates studies of consumer satisfaction. In 2008, for the sixth consecutive year, Cox received highest honors for Residential Telephone Customer Satisfaction StudySM in the West and ranked highest among small/midsize business data providers in their Major Provider Business Telecommunications StudySM. To date, Cox is the only telecommunications and entertainment company to receive top honors recognition from J.D. Power in studies of video, telephone and high-speed internet satisfaction. In 2007, Cox also received PC Magazine's Readers' Choice Award for Cox High Speed Internet Service.
Esser currently serves as vice chair of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, following successful tenure as treasurer and co-chair of The Cable Show, the industry's premier annual event in 2007. He also serves on the board of directors of C-SPAN, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Educational Foundation, CableLabs, and Cable in the Classroom. 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.
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.