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Large Comcast investor wants Roberts out as CEO

Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:35am
Mike Robuck

One of Comcast’s biggest shareholders is asking the company’s board to remove Brian Roberts as CEO.

New York-based Chieftain Capital Management Inc. sent a letter to Comcast’s board on Jan. 14 – according to Barron’s and other media outlets – that asked for Robert’s removal from his position.

The letter also said that Comcast has focused its efforts on growth instead of shareholder value.

Chieftain Capital, an investment advisory firm, owns about 60 million Comcast shares, or about 2 percent of the outstanding shares. In addition to getting rid of Roberts, Chieftain Capital is asking Comcast’s board to reinitiate a stock dividend.

“Comcast continues to perform well, consistently delivering superior revenue and cash flow growth and significant free cash flow, despite a challenging economy and an increasingly competitive environment,” said Comcast spokeswoman D’Arcy Rudnay. “Our management team is intensely focused on executing our strategic plan, investing for profitable growth and creating long-term shareholder value.”

Brian Roberts is the son of Comcast co-founder Ralph Roberts. According to the Associated Press, Chieftain also took issue with Comcast’s recently announced plan of paying Ralph Roberts’ salary and other benefits to his designated heirs for five years after his death or departure from the company due to disability.

“We welcome input from our shareholders and take their views seriously,” Rudnay said. “We have met with Chieftain and have discussed their perspective on numerous occasions. While we have expressed our disagreement with Chieftain’s perspective in the past, we will review Chieftain’s most recent correspondence and will respond in due course.”

After falling 77 cents to close at $17.41 a share on Thursday, Comcast’s stocks were at $17.31 in late morning trading today.

More Broadband Direct:

• SCTE ET: TV expert says AT&T’s video play has 12 to 18 months left 

• SCTE ET: Cable 3.0 will bring a ‘blending’ of services 

• Large Comcast investor wants Roberts out as CEO 

• Grande Communications on the block 

• Sprint hunkering down after bad quarter 

• Samsung set-top based on Macrovision platform 

• California Broadband Task Force releases report 

• Kaitz Foundation increases funding in 2008 

• Broadband Briefs for 1/18/08 

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