Brian L. Roberts

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Brian Roberts
Brian Roberts Comcast.jpg
Born (1959-06-28) June 28, 1959 (age 61)
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
Net worthUS$1.7 billion (May 2020)[1]
TitleChairman and CEO of Comcast
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Aileen Kennedy
Children3
RelativesRalph J. Roberts (father)

Brian L. Roberts (born June 28, 1959) is an American billionaire businessman, and the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Comcast, an American company providing cable, entertainment, and communications products and services which was founded by his father, Ralph J. Roberts.

Early life and education[edit]

Roberts was born into a Jewish family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ralph J. Roberts, the founder of Comcast Corporation, and Suzanne (née Fleisher), a former actress and playwright.[2][3] His maternal grandfather, Alfred W. Fleisher, was a real estate investor and philanthropist who supported prison reform. Roberts graduated from the Germantown Academy and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1981, and immediately began working for Comcast.[4]

Career[edit]

Roberts is chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, and personally controls 33 1/3% of the voting rights of the company.[5] He was named President of Comcast Corporation in 1990 at only 31 years of age when the company had $657 million in annual revenue. Comcast Corporation’s annual revenue has since grown to $94.5 billion.[6]

Roberts is chairman of the board of directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and a former treasurer.[7] Roberts served as Chairman of NCTA from 1995 to 1996, when the landmark deregulatory 1996 Telecommunications Act became law.[citation needed]

In 2000, Roberts made a leadership move and acquired AT&T Broadband for $53.2 billion in stock and assumed debt. "The deal allowed Comcast to become the largest cable operator in the world." In 2009, NBCUniversal was also acquired by Comcast.[8]

In 2016, Roberts received US$28.6 million in compensation,[9] and in 2020, his net worth was US$1.7 billion.[1]

Awards and philanthropy[edit]

Institutional Investor Magazine named Roberts as its top vote-getter for three years in a row (2004–06) in the Cable & Satellite category of their America's Best CEOs annual survey; and named Comcast as one of America's Most Shareholder-Friendly Companies in 2006.[citation needed]

Roberts was the recipient of the 2004 Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and was the 2002 Walter Kaitz Foundation Honoree of the Year for his commitment to diversity in the cable industry. The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia honored Roberts with their 2002 award for his commitment to youth programs and community partnerships.[10]

In 2001, Roberts was awarded the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's 2011 Ambassador for Humanity Award.[11]

The Aileen K. and Brian L. Roberts Foundation was one of the largest contributors to the restoration of the Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, named in the honor of his maternal grandfather.[12]

Maccabiah Games[edit]

Being an All-American squash player, Roberts participated in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, earning a Gold Medal with the U.S. Squash team in 2005, and Silver Medals in 1981, 1985, 1997, and 2009.[10][13] On October 21, 2012, Roberts was honored by Maccabi USA as a 'Legend of the Maccabiah.'[14]

Politics[edit]

Roberts was a founding co-chair of Philadelphia 2000, the nonpartisan host committee for the 2000 Republican National Convention. The Pennsylvania Report named Roberts to the 2003 "The Pennsylvania Report Power 75" list of influential figures in Pennsylvania politics, calling him "Pennsylvania’s most powerful businessman", and noted his influence with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.[15]

In 2003, Roberts was named to the PoliticsPA list of politically influential individuals.[16]

Since 2006, Roberts has donated more than $76,000 to Democratic candidates, and $13,500 to Republican candidates.[17]

In December 2009, Roberts wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, endorsing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[18]

Roberts is considered a supporter of the Democratic Party and supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States presidential election.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Roberts and his wife, Aileen Kennedy Roberts, live in Philadelphia and have three children, Sarah, Tucker and Amanda. Aileen is the director of the Barnes Foundation.[20][21]

In 2010, Roberts presented his mother, along with his brother Douglas and his father, Women's Image Network Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.[22][23]

Roberts owns a 48 ft sloop and a 65 ft sloop, both designed by Sparkman & Stephens and named Aileen after his wife, which he sails while on vacation in his seasonal home on Martha's Vineyard.[24] Roberts' son, Tucker, was appointed president of Overwatch League esports team Philadelphia Fusion in January 2018,[25] after Comcast and its sporting arm Comcast Spectacor paid a reported $20 million in franchise fees to participate in that league.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Brian Roberts". Forbes profile. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  2. ^ Kellie Patrick Gates (February 14, 2013). "Love: Suzanne (Fleisher) Roberts & Ralph J. Roberts". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  3. ^ GuttmanMarch 2, Nathan; Images, 2014getty. "Brian Roberts' Jewish Roots and Outsized Ambition Drive Comcast's Rise in Media". The Forward. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  4. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer: "A continual spotlight awaits a 'very private' Brian Roberts AT&T deal catapults Comcast's chief to the industry forefront" By Benjamin Y. Lowe December 21, 2001
  5. ^ Comcast Corporation Website: "Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation", comcast.com; retrieved February 12, 2014
  6. ^ "Comcast Biography of Mr. Brian L. Roberts". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ "U.S. Cable Industry Launches 'Take Control. It's Easy' Campaign to Help Parents Manage Their Family's TV Viewing" April 26, 2005
  8. ^ March, Staff Writer 20 November 201820 (2018-11-20). "Bold Leader Spotlight: Brian L. Roberts, CEO Comcast NBCUniversal". Bold Business. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  9. ^ "Comcast - Mr. Brian L. Roberts Compensation". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Brian L. Roberts" (Press release). Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Michael Elkin Jewish Exponent: "Shoah Salute: Personal Meaning for Comcast CEO", jewishexponent.com, May 4, 2011; accessed June 20, 2015.
  12. ^ Eastern State Penitentiary: "Funders for the Synagogue Restoration", easternstate.org; retrieved February 19, 2014.
  13. ^ Michael Elkin "Shoah Salute: Personal Meaning for Comcast CEO", jewishexponent.com, May 4, 2011; accessed June 20, 2015.
  14. ^ Maccabi USA: "2012 Legends of Maccabiah"; retrieved December 20, 2014.
  15. ^ "The PA Report 'Power 75' List" (PDF). Pennsylvania Report. Capital Growth, Inc. January 31, 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-20.
  16. ^ "Power 50". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on 2004-04-17.
  17. ^ Hart, Kim (2012-05-09). "Comcast-NBC deal finds campaign cash converging with Obama's principles". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 7, 2009. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  18. ^ Roberts endorses PPACA, politico.com; accessed June 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "Comcast/NBC fired and insulted Trump and now faces a grudge-holding president". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 13, 2017.
  20. ^ Aileen Kennedy Roberts profile, businessweek.com; retrieved July 8, 2012.
  21. ^ "Philadelphia Award 2012 - Joseph Neubauer and Aileen Roberts were honored for their work on the new Barnes", phillymag,com, May 31, 2012
  22. ^ "Brian, Doug & Ralph Roberts Presenting Suzanne Roberts Lifetime Achievement Honor". YouTube.com. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  23. ^ Rifkin, Glenn (19 June 2015). "Ralph Roberts, Cable TV Pioneer Who Built Comcast, Dies at 95". The New York Times, USA. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  24. ^ Steve Myrick (2015-06-18), "Embracing a Fellowship of the Wind", Vineyard Gazette
  25. ^ "Comcast CEO's son and gamer, Tucker Roberts, to head company-owned esports team". Philly.com. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  26. ^ "Blizzard locks in two more $20 million Overwatch League spots". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-07-30.