Neil Smit, Comcast’s CEO, is in the headlines after The Hollywood Reporter pegged him to “become the most powerful and scrutinized executive in pay television.” Here’s what you should know about this Comcast exec.
1. Neil Smit Isn’t Comcast’s Only CEO
The corporate chain of command at a company like Comcast can be a bit confusing. The Comcast Executive Biographies page lists Neil Smit as “President and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable” as well as “Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation.”
Brian L. Roberts, another Comcast bigwig, is listed on the same page as “Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corporation.”
2. Neil Smit Makes Over $1.5 Million Annually
Pretty smart of Neil Smit, head of merged Comcast/TWC, to sell 11,000 shares of $CMCSA last week for $585,200… stock is down today
— marcus baram (@mbaram) February 13, 2014
According to a profile on Forbes, Neil Smit has an annual salary of $1.5 million, as of 2012. That same year, he made an additional $1 million in bonuses.
On top of all that, he also earned stock awards, option awards, and other income. In summation, Forbes estimates his 2012 earnings at $18,264,217.
3. Neil Smit Was a Navy Seal
Comcast cable president and CEO Neil Smit on MSO’s ongoing metered broadband tests: “nothing conclusive there yet”
— Jeff Baumgartner (@thebauminator) February 13, 2014
The Los Angeles Times has reported that Smit served as a Navy SEAL for nearly six years. At the time of his retirement from the Navy, Smit was a lieutenant commander.
The LA Times adds that this former SEAL is positioned to oversee Comcast as it moves forward:
“Neil Smit, Comcast Cable chief executive and a former Navy SEAL, this week was named Comcast’s go-to guy: the executive who would closely oversee the integration of at least 8 million Time Warner Cable customers into Comcast, which already has nearly 22 million video subscribers.
That means Smit also would be the point man overseeing upgrades to Time Warner Cable’s systems in New York and Los Angeles, where 1.5 million homes have Time Warner Cable service.”
4. Smit Loves New Technology
In the Hollywood Reporter‘s analysis of Smit, they cite a source who refers to Smit at “a hands-on technophile.” That seems like a fair assessment, given the fact that Comcast has launched 40 products in just the past two years.
5. Neil Smit Is Cool Under Pressure
Comcast's Neil Smit says getting NFLX on set top box is not "high priority" but still "open to putting apps on X1" set top box
— Shalini Ramachandran (@ShaliniWSJ) October 30, 2013
Back when he was working for Charter Communications, Smit gave an interview with St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In the interview, Smit talked about one of his early jobs, working for a crisis management firm.
“Their primary business was kidnapping negotiations,” Smit says. “You know, as a Navy SEAL when you parachute into a situation, you’ve got to figure it out pretty fast. This was no different. I had to make a quick assessment of a situation, plan action and communicate it to everyone involved. I did this until we had our first child. Then, my wife said I needed to find a new career.”
Whatever Smit is asked to do for Comcast in the future, it is likely that he will be able to keep his cool even in the most pressure-filled of business situations.