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NBCUniversal and other parts of the Comcast family on Wednesday internally unveiled measures to support employees and others impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Top executives, including Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, CFO Mike Cavanagh, Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, are donating their salaries to charities engaged in coronavirus relief until the virus crisis passes.
Roberts, in a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, also said that Comcast was committing $500 million to help staff with pay and benefits if their business units have been shut down due to the pandemic.
“Across our businesses, we have committed $500 million to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted, and we have committed significant resources to support our customers,” Roberts wrote. “Additionally, effective today, and for the duration of this situation, our senior leaders, Mike Cavanagh, Dave Watson, Jeff Shell, Jeremy Darroch and I have chosen to donate 100 percent of our salaries to charities that support COVID-19 relief efforts,” Roberts wrote.
Roberts’ 2018 salary came to $3.2 million, while CFO Cavanagh’s salary was $1.95 million that year and then-NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke took home a salary of $2.96 million in 2018. Comcast has yet to announce its executive compensation for 2019.
Roberts, his wife Aileen and their family previously said they were donating $5 million for the Philadelphia public school system to buy laptops for students doing online learning as local schools closed down during the coronavirus crisis.
Comcast is the latest media and entertainment company to unveil that top executives were forging their salaries amid the virus crisis, following the likes of the Walt Disney Co.
Comcast chairman and CEO Roberts’ full memo to staff is below:
As our world changes by the minute with the new reality that COVID-19 brings, I continue to be amazed and inspired by our people and the human spirit at Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky. This is obviously an incredibly difficult time for our society. None of us has ever experienced anything like this before, and while it is easy to get mired in the many challenges we are all facing, I think that in uncertain times like these it is incumbent upon us to remain optimistic and look for the good, even if it can be elusive.
One of the bright spots for me has been watching our employees on the frontlines go above and beyond. Our Comcast and Sky engineers, technicians and call center representatives are working around the clock to keep our network running and make sure our customers maintain their vital internet connectivity. Our NBC and Sky news organizations are keeping our world informed — setting up remote studios in basements, living rooms and everything in between.
Meanwhile, our wonderful talent and late-night hosts are doing their best to make us smile. I can’t thank these teams enough. I am also grateful to the leadership across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky who have stepped up again and again to do the right thing and take care of our teams. Every employee in every location around the world who is able to work from home is doing so, and where we have people who need to be in an office or in the field, we are doing everything possible to make their environments clean and safe.
Across our businesses, we have committed $500 million to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted, and we have committed significant resources to support our customers. Additionally, effective today, and for the duration of this situation, our senior leaders, Mike Cavanagh, Dave Watson, Jeff Shell, Jeremy Darroch and I have chosen to donate 100% of our salaries to charities that support COVID-19 relief efforts.
We hope in some small way we can make this time easier on our employees, our local communities and our customers. I don’t know when the worst will be behind us. But I do know that the best way forward will continue to be together. As we navigate the challenges ahead, please take care of yourselves and each other. Reach out to colleagues and friends who need a little extra support. Kindness, compassion and humanity are needed now more than ever, especially for those who have been personally impacted by this virus.
This too shall pass, and we will be on the other side of this crisis. But at this moment I have never been prouder of our company, our people and the collective strength and resilience from all corners of our great organization.
Brian L. Roberts Chairman and CEO Comcast Corporation
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