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…"
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