Dennis Mathew is the new CEO of Altice USA, one of the nation’s largest cable television companies. The good news is he comes from Comcast, the nation’s largest and most successful cable TV giant. So, the hope is, the lessons he learned there over the past two decades will help him jump-start similar growth at Altice USA.
At this early stage we don’t know what’s going to happen next with Altice USA.
Mathew has no doubt learned many valuable lessons from Comcast that will be helpful at Altice USA. However, the cable TV marketplace is a constantly changing dynamic. It has changed, significantly over the last two decades. Many times in fact.
Some cable TV companies have seen steady growth, while others have not. However, all players have seen incredible change in technology and business practice.
As one example, cable TV never paid attention to customer care because they had no competition. There was no risk of loss. Now that there is, they must take great care of their customers. Some do a better job than others with this important task.
That raises the question to the mind of every investor, worker and customer, does Mathew have the vision and ability to direct Altice through the changing marketplace to success?
Obviously, the Board of Directors of Altice USA think so. That’s why they brought him in. But the proof will take some time to tell.
At Comcast, Brian Roberts is CEO. He took the company over from his father Ralph Roberts who started it. I expect it will be passed on to Brian’s son Tucker Roberts at some point down the road as well. So, basically Comcast is one big family business being passed down the line, generation to generation.
Answering to Brian Roberts are the Senior Vice Presidents in charge of different business segments like geographic regions and businesses like wireless, broadband, cable TV and so on. All of them play an important role in steering the ship.
Dennis Mathew was Senior Vice President for the Western New England region of Comcast.
This is an impressive role. Success at Comcast can be a rough ride as many senior executives tell me.
Mathew earned an important role at Comcast, but that is not a guarantee of success at Altice USA.
So, the question: does Mathews have the vision of where to take Altice in a changing industry?
Company leadership was not his role at Comcast. Leadership and direction came from Brian Roberts. Mather was responsible for taking orders and making them happen.
So, the bottom line is we just don’t know what to expect from him going forward at this early stage.
Mathew will have to earn his stripes. He may indeed have what it takes to help jump-start growth for the company. I hope he does. Altice needs a leader who can do just that.
I will be keeping my eyes on him, following the Altice recovery story under his control and watch his ability to see the direction the industry is heading and his ability to put the company on a healthy growth track.
This is an important job and a hell of an opportunity and challenge. I wish Dennis Mathew success, along with Altice USA workers, executives, customers and investors. Now, it’s time to execute.