PHILADELPHIA: Comcast Corporation has appointed Dave Watson as president and CEO of Comcast Cable, with Neil Smit moving into a new role as vice chairman of Comcast Corporation, effective April 1.
Smit will work closely with Watson for the next few months to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Smit will then work part-time with Comcast leaders to develop future technology-oriented business opportunities. He has spent seven years as the head of Comcast Cable, and prior to joining Comcast, Smit spent decades in senior executive positions at Charter, AOL and Nabisco.
Watson, who joined Comcast in 1991, has served as the COO of Comcast Cable since 2010 and has partnered with Smit in running the cable division since Smit’s arrival at the company. He has held many senior roles within Comcast, including leadership of the product, sales, marketing and advertising functions.
“Dave Watson is the perfect new leader of Comcast Cable,” said Brian L. Roberts, the chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. “There are few people in the cable industry who have his breadth and depth of experience. Dave, along with Neil and the executive teams across the cable division, drove the operating strategy and execution that have led to phenomenal growth over the last several years as well as our focus on the customer experience and the improvements we have made recently. Dave knows the business and has a track record of delivering results.”
Roberts added, “Neil has been an extraordinary leader and has helped transform Comcast Cable into the top cable and broadband company in the nation. He is not only an exceptional executive, but he is also one of the finest individuals with whom I have had the privilege to work. Neil and his team have created an innovation engine at Comcast Cable, with countless new and game-changing products and businesses.
We are also so appreciative and inspired by Neil’s service as a Navy SEAL. While the personal sacrifices he made on behalf of our Country can never be repaid, all of us who know Neil are very grateful for his service. As Neil cuts back on his full-time role, I am delighted that he will continue to work with us.”
“It is an honor to take the reins from Neil. I can’t thank him enough for his partnership during the last seven years,” said Watson. “Neil has taught us all lessons in leadership, team building, focus, and execution. He challenged us to reinvent the television experience; to grow video customers; to make Comcast video positive; to invest in our plant; to grow broadband customers; and, to build business services essentially from scratch. And, he succeeded on all fronts.”
Smit said, “Leading Comcast Cable has been a wonderful experience. Brian has been a terrific partner and I have the utmost respect and admiration for his vision, leadership, and drive. It has been an honor and privilege leading this team. I know I am leaving Comcast Cable in great hands with Dave Watson as its new leader. As I approach 60, and for reasons related to the injuries I sustained in my previous career, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family while also helping Comcast find new growth opportunities.”