Shareholders To Comcast: Fire The CEO

Chieftain Capital Management Inc., owns 2% of Comcast (about 60 million shares) and is unhappy with the way its investment has been performing. They’re calling the management tenure of CEO Brian “Bad Install” Roberts a “Comcastrophe,” a term that might just good enough to be Mr. Robert’s new official Consumerist nickname. Brian “Comcastrophe” Roberts. We like it.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Chieftain Capital Management Inc., which manages 60.5 million Comcast shares, or about 2% of stock outstanding, this week wrote to Comcast calling for the ouster of Chief Executive Brian Roberts, describing his management as a “Comcastrophe” for shareholders after a decade of “zero return.”
Chieftain also wants Comcast to return cash to shareholders, including a “meaningful” dividend; revise its executive compensation and dismantle its dual-class voting structure, which allows Mr. Roberts’s family to effectively control the Philadelphia company despite owning only a small percentage of the stock.

Chieftain’s call for action reflects intensifying frustration on Wall Street with Comcast’s performance. Comcast, the biggest cable operator in the U.S. by subscribers, has seen its stock fall 40% in the past year as a growing number of cable customers defect to new TV services offered by phone companies like Verizon Communications Inc. Comcast’s stock took a particular hit after third-quarter earnings showed a slowdown in its ability to add customers.

“We don’t think the company is well-run and our view is shared by many others,” Chieftain managing director Glenn Greenberg said in an interview. “We hope this will be a wake-up call to the board.”

Comcast Holder Seeks CEO’s Dismissal [WSJ]


Edit Your Comment

  1. QuirkyRachel says:

    Well, I totally don’t feel sorry for him ,considering the horrible service that I had, and some of my friends still have, while being Comcast customers.

  2. kelptocratic says:

    Oooh… I see what you did there, Chieftain Capital Management.

  3. Parting says:

    Every company relies on humans. And when customer service sucks, people will look for an alternative. Even if it means paying a bit more.

  4. unklegwar says:

    Poor bastard is gonna lose his job, and will have to scrape by on some 25 million dollar severance. How will he make it?

  5. faust1200 says:

    Sic semper tyrannis!

  6. CuriousO says:

    I think that the problem is when you want to add or modify your service in any way, they screw you some how. I’ve known plenty of people that have had goo experiences but then they decide to modify and it all goes down hill from there. I just signed up for U-VERSE I thought it was a good deal $130 for all channels 3 DVRs and 3mps DSL, One month of free service, one year free HD and $100 cash back. I hate AT&T I hope I don’t end up regretting this tasty decision. :-)

  7. I’m looking to switch from Comcast to Qwest here in the next few months. It’s not that I’m really having a problem with my service, it’s just that they’re charging way more than they should and I don’t like the whole torrent blocking stuff that they’re doing.

  8. NotATool says:

    Wow, 10 years of zero return to the shareholders. What a great track record!

    Continual Comcast rate increases – phenomenal executive bonuses = ZERO profit for shareholders

    Ironically he’ll get a great golden parachute and soon will be hired elsewhere for a phenomenal salary.

  9. bohemian says:

    So are they actually not making money because people are leaving because Comcast sucks, or are they wanting them to jack rates and cut service even more in order to create a profit for shareholders?

    I had Comcast for about 4 months. Nothing every went right and they had the absolute worst customer service.

  10. brandyfelix says:

    I don’t know much about Roberts, but any CEO who lets his company throttle internet traffic and then lets his employees lie about it deserves to be punished. Comcast should do what American Airlines did when their CEO lied to employees: fire him.

  11. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    How about state-sponsored room and board for 25 years to life?

  12. Klay says:

    I submitted this news bit to you weeks ago and you did not report on it then. I think it relevance now: “The 87-year-old founder of Comcast Corp.’s pay will keep going to his beneficiaries for five years after his death under a new agreement”. Full story: []

    So they will just “keep going”.

  13. scoosdad says:

    @Aussie-Evil: …with intermittent Comcast cable TV to watch!

  14. dweezel says:

    the blocking of torrents is related to the sheer amount of bandwidth it uses. I predict that Comcast blocks torrent traffic altogether to reduce its network congestion and reduce its fees, while Time Warner maintains the ability to use torrent services but will make you “pay-as-you-go”.

    From []
    “The company believes the billing system will impact only heavy users, who account for around 5 percent of all customers but typically use more than half of the total network bandwidth, according to a company spokesman.

    Slowing network congestion due to downloading of large media files such as video is a growing problem for Time Warner Cable. The company said the problem will worsen as video downloading becomes more popular.”

  15. disavow says:

    Systematic incompetence starts at the top. Firing is the least of what this fucker deserves.

    @dweezel: Reduce network congestion, maybe. Reduce fees? Yeah, right.

  16. parad0x360 says:

    All comcast needs to do is two things.

    1-Fix their customer service and install/troubleshooting issues.

    2-At the very least double the internet speeds for the same price. Honestly they should be 3x as fast to even bring the US close to other countries. Sweden for instance has 50mbps connections for $20 USD a month, unlimited data transfer. Comcast is $52 a month (with cable $62 without) for 8mbps…problem is you almost never get 6mbps and ping times are crap. You also have the invisible bandwidth limit which is total bs.

  17. jonworld says:

    Wow! Someone important finally discovered how Comcast sucks at everything! I recently moved to a new house and got “Triple Play” phone, internet, and cable from them. When they installed the phones, they hooked half the outlets to the wrong phone lines and had to come over and re-do everything TWICE! Then our internet broke twice shortly after getting it. One of those breakages was for TWO WEEKS and I’m a web developer and that really sucked for me (I stole…I mean borrowed the neighbors slow-as-hell wi-fi). Then when they came to set up our HDTV, the guy said he couldn’t do it because it would take to long. Then they sent another guy to set up the HDTV and he forgot to bring an box that supported HD (whoops…what an idiot). Then they said the soonest they could get us an HD box was in a few weeks, so we just drove over to their offices, picked one up, and connected it ourselves.

  18. dgcaste says:

    Free wifi FTW!

  19. dlab says:

    How about they also fire Consumerist commenter and Comcast VP of Customer Service, Suzanne Keenan?

    In one of her posts, Ms. Keenan previously expressed how appalled she was by a comment I posted where I complained about when a Comcast installer made sexual advances towards a friend of mine during an installation. Of course, all attempts to reach her after that were unsuccessful.

  20. I was just watching this video…
    I love how he takes a quick shot at Network Neutrality in less than 2 seconds without most of the crowd realizing it.

  21. axiomatic says:

    DOCSIS 3.0 is Comcast’s only hope bringing 4 times the current speed for the internet connections and “switched” broadcasting for the cable boxes.

    My opinion: Dump the Sandvine shaping SW and embrace the customer as king.