Comcast promotes Neil Smit to Cable CEO

Comcast Tower

Comcast announced Wednesday that it has given a new title to one of its top execs. Neil Smit, president of Comcast Cable, is now taking over the CEO role of the company’s cable operations.

The new title shouldn’t change Smit’s job description too much; He joined Comcast in March 2010 after serving as CEO of Charter Communications, and has been heading up the operational aspects of the company’s video, broadband and digital voice services since then. Smit’s role and title runs parallel to that of Steve Burke, who serves as CEO of NBC Universal, running the day-to-day operations of Comcast’s joint venture with GE.

Since Smit has joined Comcast, the cable division has made great strides in improving customer service and also ramping up product development. At the UBS Media and Communications conference on Monday, Smit said the number of truck rolls has dropped by 2.5 million to 3 million over the past year, and the number of customer service calls has dropped by 10 million.

At the same time, Comcast has introduced a number of new products for customers. At the conference, Smit said Comcast was coming to market with 16 new products this year, which he said was double the number of products it had released in the two years prior. A lot of those products have to do with improving the customer experience, such as its efforts around bringing on demand video to the Xfinity iPad app, as well as the introduction of its new Xcalibur set-top box and cloud-based user interface.

The end result has been improved margins for the business, and Comcast has actually fared pretty well in what has proven to be a difficult environment for the cable industry. While Comcast is still losing video subscribers, it’s slowed the rate at which they are leaving — all of which are reasons why Smit is getting a promotion and taking on the new title.

Photo of Comcast Tower courtesy of Flickr/Kevin Burkett

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