Comcast names Watson as CEO of its cable division

Comcast Cable has promoted COO Dave Watson to the role of CEO, replacing Neil Smit, who becomes vice chairman of the Comcast group.

Watson will become CEO of Comcast Cable from 1 April, initially working with Smit during a leadership transition period. Smit will then take up his new part-time role, which will see him look at future technology-oriented business opportunities.

Watson has been with the US cable company for more than 25 years, holding a number of senior roles across product, sales, marketing and advertising. He has been COO of Comcast Cable since 2010.

"Dave Watson is the perfect new leader of Comcast Cable," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation.  "There are few people in the cable industry who have his breadth and depth of experience. 

“Dave, along with Neil and the executive teams across the cable division, drove the operating strategy and execution that have led to phenomenal growth over the last several years as well as our focus on the customer experience and the improvements we have made recently.  Dave knows the business and has a track record of delivering results."

During his time as COO, Watson worked closely with Smit on a number of projects. Smit has been at Comcast since 2010, when he joined form cable rival Charter Communications. He has also held roles at AOL and Nabisco, and served as a Navy SEAL.

Smit said: "Leading Comcast Cable has been a wonderful experience.  Brian has been a terrific partner and I have the utmost respect and admiration for his vision, leadership, and drive. It has been an honor and privilege leading this team.  I know I am leaving Comcast Cable in great hands with Dave Watson as its new leader.  

“As I approach 60, and for reasons related to the injuries I sustained in my previous career, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family while also helping Comcast find new growth opportunities."