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Roberts Banks $32.9M Compensation in 2016

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts received $32.96 million in total compensation in 2016, a 9% pay cut from the previous year, despite the company showing its strongest video results in a decade.

Comcast ended 2016 with 161,000 more basic video customers than it started with, the first time that happened since 2006. The cable operator also started its wireless plans in motion, activating a Mobile Virtual Network Operator agreement with Verizon in October, the precursor for its April unveiling of its Xfinity Mobile product.

Roberts saw his base salary increase slightly to $3 million from $2.9 million and he received about $3.5 million in stock awards and $3.5 million in option awards, the same as in the prior year. The biggest difference was in the value of his pension and non-qualified deferred compensation-- $4.3 million in 2016, down from $8.7 million in 2015.

Other executives saw steeper reductions in their take-home haul. Chief financial officer Michael Cavanagh received $27.7million in total compensation, down 32% from $40.6 million in 2015. Cavanagh received $9.5 million in stock awards and $2.5 million in pension value and non-qualified deferred comp in 2016, down from $16.5 million and $11.9 million in 2015. Cable unit CEO Neil Smit, who became vice chairman of the company on April 1 – long-time executive Dave Watson is his replacement – received $25.4 million in total compensation (down 9% from $27.95 million in 2015) and senior executive vice president David Cohen received $17.9 million, about in line with the previous year.

NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke saw the biggest increase (36.8%), receiving $46.1 million in total compensation, mainly due to a near tripling of his option awards in the period from $5.35 million in 2015 to $15.4 million in 2016.