“I’ve had a great career and I’ve enjoyed every year of it, every minute of it.” How many people can say that? Howard Wood, BSBA’47, started out as an accountant at Arthur Anderson…for 26 years. Then he wanted to see what it was like on “the other side of the desk” and partnered with fellow Olin alum Jerry Kent to manage a cable TV company called Cencom Cable Associates.
They sold Cencom to Hallmark Cards Inc. in 1991 for an estimated $1billion, bought it back from Hallmark in 1995, and renamed the company Charter Communications. Wood and Kent sold Charter to Paul Allen in 1998 for $4.5 billion, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.
Wood’s ventures in the cable and communications industry included more than $25 billion in acquisitions and launching startups which Wood says is not for everyone. “You can’t be too risk adverse,” he says about entrepreneurship, but adds he doesn’t think of himself as an entrepreneur. “I think we’ve been professional managers.”