Rocco B. Commisso

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Rocco B. Commisso
Rocco B. Commisso.jpg
Born Calabria, Italy
Occupation Founder, Chairman and chief executive officer of Mediacom Communications Corporation

Rocco B. Commisso (born November 25, 1949) is the Founder, Chairman and chief executive officer of Mediacom Communications Corporation, the 5th largest cable television company in the United States.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Calabria, Italy, Commisso immigrated to the United States at age 12. He attended Mount Saint Michael Academy high school in the Bronx in 1967. He attended Columbia University on a full undergraduate scholarship where he earned a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 1971. He also earned a master's degree in Business Administration in 1975 from Columbia Business School. He was co-captain of Columbia's varsity soccer team; elected president of the business school student body; and was the recipient of the prestigious Business School Service Award.

In 2004, on the 250th anniversary of Columbia's founding, the school's newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, listed Commisso among Columbia's 250 greatest undergraduate alumni of all time.[1] The school of business also recognized him as a Select Distinguished Alumni.[2]


Commisso began his business career at Pfizer Inc.'s manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, New York in 1971. After graduating from business school in 1975, he spent a decade in the financial community, initially at Chase Manhattan Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase) and later at Royal Bank of Canada, where he led the bank's U.S. lending activities to companies in the media and communications sectors. From 1986 to 1995, he served as Executive Vice President, chief financial officer and Director of Cablevision Industries Corporation. During his tenure there, privately held Cablevision Industries grew from the 25th to the 8th largest cable company in the nation, serving over 1.3 million customers at the time of its merger with Time Warner.[citation needed]

Commisso is currently the chairman and chief executive officer of Mediacom Communications Corporation, a company he founded in 1995 in the basement of his home to acquire and reinvigorate cable systems in the nation's underserved smaller communities. Together with his management team, Rocco took Mediacom public in 2000[3] and engineered its dramatic growth into the nation’s 8th largest cable operator, with current annual revenues of over $1.6 billion. In March 2011, the company went private, and is now wholly owned by Commisso.[4] Operating from its newly completed headquarters[5] in Blooming Grove, N.Y.,[6] and with 4,700 employees in 22 states, Mediacom is the leading provider of advanced broadband services to 1.3 million customers in 1,500 small cities and towns across America.

Under his guidance, Mediacom has been recognized for outstanding achievements including the nation’s best cable company of 2016[7] and 2009 by CableFAX magazine,[8] and named by Deloitte Technology Fast 500 as one of North America's 500 Fastest Growing Technology Companies of 2003.[9]

Commisso serves on the board of directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association,[10] C-SPAN[11] and Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.[12] He is also a member of the Cable TV Pioneers.[13] Commisso is the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award,[14] the Innovator Award for Business Strategy from Cablevision magazine[15] and the National Italian American Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.[16] In 2007, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.[17] In 2008, he served as Co-Chair of the Cable Show staged in New Orleans, the industry’s premier annual event.[18] In 2009, Commisso was presented with the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership,[19] the cable industry’s highest honor. In 2010, he was welcomed into the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Hall of Fame and named Business Person of the Year.[20] In June 2011, Commisso was inducted into the Cable Center Hall of Fame.[21] In 2015 he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.[22]


Commisso played soccer for the Columbia University Lions in the 1967–1970 period. He is a three time All-Ivy League Honoree.[23] In 1967, Commisso was a member of a freshman squad that finished with an undefeated record of 8-0. Commisso served as co-captain of the 1970 team that went 9-4-0 and made Columbia’s first ever appearance in the NCAA men's soccer tournament.[24]

Throughout his college soccer career, Commisso was cited numerous times for his skill and leadership[25][26][27][28][29] culminating in an invitation to try out for the USA Soccer Team organized for the 1972 Olympics.[citation needed]

Commisso has been an active contributor to Columbia men's soccer program for over 40 years. From 1978 to 1986, he was Chairman of Friends of Columbia Soccer. Presently, Columbia awards an Annual Men's Soccer Prize in his name.[30] On October 12, 2013, Columbia University named its soccer venue at the school’s Baker Athletics Complex as the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium.[31] In 2015 he was named a NYC Soccer Gala Honoree.[32] Commisso was inducted into the 2016 Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame Special Category.[33]

On January 10, 2017, Commisso purchased a majority ownership stake in the New York Cosmos professional soccer team and became the club's new Chairman.[34]


  1. ^ "The 250 Greatest Columbia Alumni: 240-231". 
  2. ^ "The Columbia Business School 2012 Employment Report". 
  3. ^ "Mediacom Communications Announces Initial Public Offering". 
  4. ^ "Mediacom Goes Private". 
  5. ^ "Mediacom Opens New Headquarters". 
  6. ^ "Governor Cuomo Announces Mediacom Communications to Expand and Create Jobs in Orange County". 
  7. ^ "2016 MSO of the Year". 
  8. ^ "2009 MSO of the Year". 
  9. ^ "Mediacom Communications Named One of the Fastest Growing Technology Companies". 
  10. ^ "NCTA Board of Directors". 
  11. ^ "C-SPAN Board of Directors". 
  12. ^ "CableLabs Board of Directors". 
  13. ^ "Cable TV Pioneers". 
  14. ^ "2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award". 
  15. ^ "Cablevision Innovator of the Year 2001" (PDF). 
  16. ^ "NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award". 
  17. ^ "Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame". 
  18. ^ "2008 Cable Show Co-Chair". 
  19. ^ "Distinguished Vanguard Awards for Leadership". 
  20. ^ "SUNY New Paltz School of Business Hall of Fame". 
  21. ^ "Cable Hall of Fame". 
  22. ^ "Ellis Island Medal of Honor Database". 
  23. ^ "Columbia Soccer All-Ivy League Honoree". 
  24. ^ "Columbia Soccer All-Time Results". 
  25. ^ "The Harvard Crimson Ref 1". 
  26. ^ "The Harvard Crimson Ref 2". 
  27. ^ "The Harvard Crimson Ref 3". 
  28. ^ "The Harvard Crimson Ref 4". 
  29. ^ "The Harvard Crimson Ref 5". 
  30. ^ "Columbia's Student Athletes Honored". 
  31. ^ "Columbia Soccer Stadium Dedication". 
  32. ^ "2015 NYC Soccer Gala Honoree". 
  33. ^ "Columbia Athletics Inducts Hall of Fame Class of 2016". 
  34. ^