David-Watson-Comcast-Cable
Courtesy of Comcast

Comcast named Dave Watson the new president and CEO of its cable division, and elevated Neil Smit to the newly created position of vice chairman of Comcast Corp.

The U.S.’s No. 1 cable operator said the management changes will be effective April 1. Over the next few months, Smit — who joined Comcast in 2010 — will work closely with Watson to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Smit subsequently will work on a part-time basis with Comcast to develop future business strategy.

Smit previously served in senior executive roles at Charter Communications, AOL and Nabisco, and before his career in the private sector served as as a member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six. In a statement, Smit said, “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.”

Watson (pictured above) has served as COO of Comcast Cable since 2010. Since joining Comcast in 1991, he has held many senior roles within Comcast, including heading product, sales, marketing and advertising teams.

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

About Smit, Roberts said, “Neil has been an extraordinary leader and has helped transform Comcast Cable into the top cable and broadband company in the nation. He is not only an exceptional executive, but he is also one of the finest individuals with whom I have had the privilege to work.”

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