Cable Business Services

Comcast's Cable Boss Snags $5M Bonus

Neil Smit, President and CEO of Comcast's cable division, is cashing in this holiday season.

As part of a new five-year employment agreement, Smit secured a base salary just north of $1.8 million, effective March 1, 2015. Even more impressive, Smit accepted a $5 million performance bonus payable as a $1 million credit under the company's Deferred Compensation Plan and in restricted stocks worth $4 million at current market value. The bonus is an incentive for Smit to stay on at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), where he is expected to head up the larger cable entity the company will become when it acquires Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC).

According to an SEC filing, the extra cash for Smit was awarded:

"on account of Employee’s outstanding work in leading both (A) the industry-leading performance of the Company’s Cable Division, including through transforming the development and use of technology in all aspects of the cable business (e.g., the X1 platform), and (B) the planning for the integration of the Time Warner Cable and Charter cable systems and the divestiture of the Company’s cable systems to GreatLand Connections and of certain former Time Warner Cable cable systems to Charter…"

Want to know more about cable? Check out our dedicated cable content channel here on Light Reading.

Don't be too jealous, however. Because of the exhaustive list of companies named in Comcast's non-compete clause, Smit can't work virtually anywhere else for at least a year after any end to his current employment deal. Among its competitors, Comcast lists cable, telecom, satellite, wireless, web video, programmer and home security companies, as well as Internet and software giants like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).

Smit's salary also doesn't compare to the $31.4 million Comcast CEO Brian Roberts raked in last year. And Smit doesn't get the benefit of a golden parachute package like some of the executives at Time Warner Cable have been promised. Five million dollars hardly compares to the nearly $80 million TWC Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus will receive if the merger with Comcast goes through. (See It Pays to Be a Cable Exec and TWC Execs' Prize? A Cool $135M.)

Maybe Smit's contract isn't as sweet of deal as it appears…

Okay, yes it is.

Happy holidays, Mr. Smit. Enjoy the extra cash.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

kq4ym 1/5/2015 | 11:02:35 AM
Re: Sometimes it's worth it It is still amazing to me (and I would suppose anyone else who doesn't make millions a year) that anyone is really "worth" that kind of compensation. I'd love to see some big multii-national put a CEO in at say 10x the average employee salary and see how he does compared to the multi-million dollar guys.
DHagar 12/31/2014 | 3:49:57 PM
Re: Sometimes it's worth it MarkC73, I agree with you and Mari.  This does not seem outrageous, particularly if he is the architect and has the ability to pull things together if the acquisition goes through; he will truly create value for Comcast.

In the overall context, it is in keeping with the already "outrageous" deals (including golden parachutes) that are now routinely negotiated.
MarkC73 12/31/2014 | 3:38:21 PM
Sometimes it's worth it I've seen more money wasted on unqualified people.  It seems the Comcast Ship is sailing in the right direction with out too many leaks (from a corporate standpoint).  I'm not a customer so I can't speak to that part.  But outside looking in, seems legit.  
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