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It Pays to Be a Cable Exec

Mari Silbey
7/1/2014
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Brian Roberts has earned another year as Comcast's chief executive officer. Although there was never any doubt about the matter, Comcast has officially filed a one-year extension to Roberts' CEO contract. The extension has proven to be an annual affair, with the cable giant adding a new term to Roberts' employment agreement each year as summer rolls around. The current agreement extends until June 30, 2015.

Roberts raked in $31.4 million in 2013, making him the tenth highest-paid CEO on record according to The Associated Press and research firm Equilar. His contract renewal this year comes in the midst of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s efforts to acquire fellow operator Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). That move, if approved, would add to Roberts' record of acquisition success that includes the 2011 purchase of NBC Universal .

The Time Warner deal also adds an interesting corollary to the executive compensation conversation. Current Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus could be entitled to nearly $80 million if the acquisition by Comcast is completed. That "golden parachute" represents the highest payout proposed for a TWC executive, but not the only one. CFO Arthur Minson, CTO Mike LaJoie, and business services chief Phil Meeks stand to earn $27 million, $16.3 million, and $11.7 million respectively if the deal goes through. (See TWC Execs' Prize? A Cool $135M.)

It's good to be in the cable executive suite.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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