Comcast compensation: Michael Cavanagh is highest paid CFO in the nation


A sign stands in front of a Comcast customer service center in Oakland. On Friday, Comcast released its executive compensation figures, showing the company’s chief, Brian Roberts, received $36.2 million, and the new chief financial officer, Michael J. Cavanagh, collected a packaged valued at $40.64 million. 

(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

At Comcast Corp., there’s old money — and new money.

The company’s longtime chairman and chief executive, Brian Roberts, collected $36.2 million in compensation in 2015, a nearly 10% increase over the previous year, according to a regulatory filing Friday. Roberts is the 56-year-old son of the late Ralph Roberts, who co-founded the company.

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But Roberts’ pay was eclipsed by the company’s new chief financial officer, Michael J. Cavanagh, 50, who joined the cable giant in May.


Cavanagh, who came to Comcast from the private equity firm Carlyle Group, collected a package valued at $40.64 million for his first eight months on the job. Comcast recruited the former top J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. banker with generous stock awards and cash bonuses, in part, to compensate him for leaving Carlyle Group after less than a year at that firm.

Cavanagh received a base salary of $1.8 million, stock awards of $16.5 million, $4 million in option awards, a $6 million cash bonus and $11.9 million in deferred compensation, according to the proxy. The total haul makes Cavanagh the highest paid CFO in the nation, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.

Meanwhile, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke, 57, received a package valued at $33.7 million, a smidgen less than last year. Burke’s compensation included a $9 million cash bonus and $6.3 million in stock awards.

Neil Smit, the Comcast Cable chief executive, received $27.9 million, a 20% increase over the previous year. The former Navy SEAL was awarded a $5.9 million cash bonus and $8.4 million in stock awards.


Outgoing Chief Financial Officer Michael J. Angelakis collected a package valued at $20.2 million, and Executive Vice President David L. Cohen’s compensation bundle came in at $17.9 million, according to the filing.

Comcast fell short last year on its high-profile gambit to take over Time Warner Cable. Federal regulators a year ago signaled they would block that combination, and Comcast withdrew its bid.

Nonetheless, Comcast had a strong year financially. It grew its revenue by 8% to $74.5 billion and posted an 8% increase in operating cash flow.

Comcast also added 1.4 million high-speed Internet customers. It lost 36,000 video customers, but that represented a dramatic improvement from 2014 when the company lost a staggering 194,000 video subscribers.

Revenue at media unit NBCUniversal increased 11.9% in 2015, and operating cash flow soared nearly 15%.

Comcast was trading slightly up to $61.60 a share midday.

Twitter: @MegJamesLAT



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