Comcast Ups Zelesko to CTO, Stirling to Group Chief Product Officer at Sky

Comcast has made several big moves within its technology and product organizations, including the promotion of Matt Zelesko to chief technology officer and appointment of Fraser Stirling to group chief product officer at UK-based Sky, a Comcast official confirmed to Light Reading.

Stirling, most recently senior vice president of digital home, devices and artificial intelligence at Comcast, will be based at Sky's UK headquarters and report to Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch. The move comes only months after Comcast completed its acquisition of Sky in fall 2018.

To help align Comcast and Sky product roadmaps, Stirling also will oversee customer premises equipment (CPE) and software for both Comcast and Sky. He continues to work closely with Tony Werner, Comcast Cable president for Technology and Product Xperience.

Stirling joined Comcast in spring 2014, after serving in hardware engineering executive roles at Verizon (with the OnCue team that Verizon acquired from in January 2014), as well as Intel Media and BSkyB.

It's not yet clear whether Stirling's new role will include developing more commonality between the hardware and software Comcast and Sky use. Early on, the two operators moved ahead with several synergistic, technology-facing efforts. Sky, for example, is in the process of enhancing its products with Comcast's voice-based search and navigation technologies. It's also beginning to adopt xFi, Comcast's home-networking management platform, in some regions.

The technologists' turn
Zelesko, Comcast's former senior vice president of entertainment products and chief software officer, was promoted to CTO, where he'll oversee development and delivery of the company's entertainment and digital home product and tech roadmaps. He continues to report to Werner. Zelesko is the first exec at Comcast to have the formal CTO title since the operator's last chief technology officer, Sree Kotay, left Comcast in March 2018.

Before rejoining Comcast last summer, Zelesko was a top video and IP applications engineering exec at Time Warner Cable, the MSO that merged with Charter Communications in May 2016. Prior to his time at TWC, Zelesko was VP of engineering for Comcast Interactive Media (CIM).

Comcast made several changes within the AI-focused part of its business. Jeanine Heck, a key contributor to X1's voice search and navigation system, was promoted to vice president, AI and discovery product, reporting to Zelesko. Amit Bagga was named vice president, AI and discovery technology, and reports to Zelesko.

Jessica Sant, an engineering exec who played a big part in the development of Comcast's xFi platform, was upped to vice president, AI and discovery engineering, reporting to Bagga.

Additionally, Ruth Dawson, senior vice president of Comcast Labs and general manager of Comcast's Silicon Valley unit, has also joined the company's consumer experience organization where she reports to Charlie Herrin, Comcast Cable's chief customer experience officer.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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