Title: President, Comcast Cable/EVP, Comcast Corp.
Years in Cable: 6
Education: BA, Duke; MA, Tufts
Why Him? Talk about putting your stamp on a new job. It’s been a whirlwind two years since Smit moved to Philadelphia to run cable operations, and with longtime Comcaster Steve Burke in the NBCU spotlight, Smit’s had his nose down running operations with a singular goal: Beating the competition. (Burke and Smit both report to Brian Roberts, by the way). This year Comcast made a power play for the on-demand market and broadened Xfinity availability. The operator also turned heads at the Cable Show demonstrating its new cloud-based video system that takes functionality out of the box and puts it in the network so programming can meld with a host of interactive content like Facebook and Twitter. To boot, Comcast upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0 and blew out its HD offerings.
Military Man: Smit is well-prepared for the cable battleground. He served on active duty as a Navy SEAL for more than five years, and retired from the service as a Lieutenant Commander.
Year Ahead: Competition is fast and furious. Along with rolling out new services, Smit is drilling down to bolster customer retention. But we’ve learned not to bet against Comcast. Ever.