Comcast Gains Benefit Execs

3/28/2004 7:00 PM Eastern

Turning around AT&T Broadband fast and closing the sale of QVC Inc. to Liberty Media Corp. paid dividends for Comcast Corp.’s senior executives, who saw substantial raises and bonuses in 2003.

According to Comcast’s preliminary proxy statement, filed March 24, CEO Brian Roberts received $2 million in 2003 base salary, up 61.6% from 2002. He got a $6 million bonus, unchanged from 2002, and about 950,000 in stock options valued at nearly $10 million.

Comcast cable division president Steve Burke, considered the architect of the AT&T Broadband turnaround, received a 17.8% raise in 2003 to $1.18 million and 500,000 stock options worth $5.3 million. His annual bonus more than quadrupled, to $5.17 million.

Burke also signed a new employment contract in January, which runs through 2008 — picking up a $3.03 million signing bonus.

Other executives who enjoyed increases include executive vice president and co-chief financial officer Lawrence Smith and executive vice president, treasurer and co-chief financial officer John Alchin. Atop salary and bonuses, Smith and Alchin received stock options worth $4.7 million and $4.2 million, respectively.

Nonexecutive chairman C. Michael Armstrong, the former AT&T Corp. chairman, received a $1.8 million base salary and a $2.7 million bonus. His employment contract runs through 2005.

Brian Roberts also pocketed $7.98 million from selling stock and options he held in QVC. Smith and Alchin received $7.1 million and $4.6 million, respectively.

Roberts also stands to earn $12.46 million from Comcast over eight years as nonvested options in QVC shares vest.

Julian Brodsky, a cofounder of Comcast, will retire as vice chairman April 30 but continue as a nonexecutive employee until April 30, 2009, the proxy reported. Comcast agreed to buy out his 38% interest in venture-capital unit Comcast Interactive Capital after he retires.

Compensating Comcasters
Executive compensation at Comcast Corp.
* Cohen started working at Comcast on July 1, 2002, ** Armstrong began at Comcast on Nov. 18, 2002
Source: Comcast proxy statement
Brian Roberts Pres./CEO $2 million 61% $6 million 0%
Ralph Roberts Chairman of Executive & Finance Committee of the Board of Directors $1.6 million 26.5% $1.6 million 0%
Steve Burke Pres. cable division $1.167 million 17.8% $5.166 million 343.1%
Lawrence Smith EVP/co-CFO $1.04 million 15% $1.039 million 0%
John Alchin EVP/treasurer/co-CFO $883,000 17.7% $882,000 0%
David Cohen* EVP $961,000 N/A $960,000 N/A
C. Michael Armstrong** Non-executive chairman $1.8 million N/A $2.7 million N/A

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VR 20/20

The Times Center, New York, NY