Rigas’ son exits Adelphia finance job

Committee, outside financial advisers to assume CFO duties

Adelphia Communications said Thursday that Timothy Rigas has stepped down as chief financial officer, chief accounting officer and treasurer, a day after his father, John Rigas, resigned as chairman-CEO of the embattled cabler.

A newly appointed committee and outside financial advisers will assume CFO responsibilities. The committee, made up of three outside directors, will have broad powers to investigate a number of issues, including transactions between Adelphia and other entities controlled by the Rigas family.

Those transactions comprised several billion dollars worth of off-balance-sheet loans that spooked investors and plunged the company into chaos when they were revealed in early April.

Adelphia has put some of its cable assets up for sale, including its valuable systems in Los Angeles. AOL Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons Thursday called the assets “attractive” and said the conglom would consider a deal for the right price and structure. But Adelphia may be in no shape to conduct an auction.

“The last I heard, they were pulling the (briefing) books back. The guys who are selling it don’t even know whom they are working for,” he told reporters after AOL TW’s annual shareholders meeting.

“Our top priority is to restore the confidence of our lenders, shareholders and the marketplace as a whole. The only way to do that is to have a complete, unflinching review of all the questions that have been raised — and to make a full and candid disclosure of each and every problem the company finds to exist,” Adelphia’s acting CEO, Erland Kailbourne, said in a statement. He promised to take the actions necessary “to put the company on a path of renewed growth.”

Adelphia shares were not traded on the NASDAQ for the second day running ahead of a delisting hearing late Thursday. The company risks being yanked off the NASDAQ after it missed several deadlines to file its 2001 annual financial report. The company’s bonds were trading lower, at levels that had many on Wall Street speculating that Adelphia missed an interest payment and a bankruptcy filing may be on the way.

The special committee charged with putting Adelphia back on track consists of Leslie Gelber, chief operating officer of Caithness Corp.; Dennis Coyle, general counsel and secretary of Florida Power & Light; and Kailbourne, a former chairman-CEO of Fleet National Bank.