David L. Cohen, Comcast's senior executive vice president and a power broker in industry, media and politics, is planning to step back from his roles in the media company.
Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announced in a letter Thursday morning that Cohen “will be stepping away from his many operational roles” at the end of the year.
“Fortunately, for all of us, David is not leaving the company – he will continue to serve as a senior counselor and advisor to me and the other senior executives,” Roberts said.
Roberts called the move a “succession process” that he has been discussing with Cohen for more than a year.
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Cohen will remain Comcast's senior executive vice president through 2020, focusing on the transition. After 2020, he will become a senior advisor to Roberts and other Comcast top executives.
Comcast is the parent company of NBC, including NBC10 and Telemundo62.
Cohen joined the company in 2002 and was at Roberts' side as Comcast grew from a large cable provider to a massive media and technology company.
As he joined the company, Comcast was merging with AT&T Broadband. In 2009, Comcast announced plans to buy a majority stake in NBC Universal; Comcast took over the rest of the company in 2013.
Most recently, Comcast bought European entertainment giant Sky in 2018. Now, Comcast has more than 180,000 employees.
But Philadelphians also know Cohen for his leadership in politics. In the 1990s, he served as then-Mayor Ed Rendell's chief of staff and top adviser, helping steer Philadelphia away from municipal bankruptcy during Rendell's first term. The two have remained close, including when Rendell served as Pennsylvania governor.
Cohen is a force in national politics as well, hosting the first official fundraiser for presidential candidate Joe Biden at his Philadelphia home in April.
In a letter to employees, Cohen thanked them for almost 20 years of working together, and thanked Roberts personally.
"I cannot let the moment pass without expressing my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you for everything you do to make our company the leading news, sports, and journalism company that it is," he wrote. "I consider myself truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner and work with all of you."