November 14, 2023
At a Glance
- A reduction in force (RIF) has impacted hundreds of Comcast Business employees, according to a source.
- The RIF touches Comcast Business' channel team, with the Masergy side seeing a significant impact, according to a source.
- Craig Schlagbaum, the architect of Comcast's agent program, will retire.
A large Comcast Business restructuring will impact the MSO's channel program in several areas, multiple sources confirmed.
A spokesperson for Comcast Business confirmed Wednesday morning that "hundreds" of people are impacted in the RIF. Members of the legacy Comcast Business channel team are impacted, as well as legacy members of the Masergy channel team (which Comcast acquired in 2021).
Several high-profile members of the Comcast Business and Masergy channel team are impacted, most notably senior vice president and channel chief Craig Schlagbaum. He will retire at the end of the year, according to a source.
Comcast's Craig Schlagbaum
Schlagbaum is one of the longest tenured channel leaders in the connectivity space, having led Comcast Business' indirect channels since 2011. He is credited with building Comcast's channel program.
Matthew Fassnacht, national vice president at Comcast Business Enterprise Solutions, will function as interim replacement for Schlagbaum.
Business services connectivity grew 4.7% year-over-year in Comcast's most recent quarter, at $2.3 billion.
Comcast Business is one of the top five largest providers in the technology advisor (agent) channel in terms of bookings and overall revenue, according to Telarus CEO Adam Edwards. Edwards said partners are naturally asking questions about the restructuring.
"I think there's concern about what this means for partners, but the Comcast Business is large enough and the channel there is built up enough that they'll be just fine."
Telarus' Adam Edwards
Edwards said he encourages the leadership team at Comcast Business to continue their investment in the channel.
"I think the best for Comcast Business is to continue with the trajectory they have with the combination of both Comcast and Masergy," Edwards told Channel Futures. "They really have a powerful offering and a good track record with partners. There is a lot more opportunity ahead of them now that they're investing in where the trajectory of the channel continues to go."
Edwards called Schlagbaum's tenure at Comcast Business "a big success story."
"Craig has been a tireless advocate for the channel, not only at Comcast Business, but outside as well. He's been a channel advocate for his entire career. And I think Comcast Business has been a great place for him to continue to further that," Edwards said. "He's built up an incredible program. If you look at the best practices in the industry, they are practiced at Comcast.
Scott Mull, vice president of indirect sales operations, is impacted by the restructuring.
A channel partner leader closely affiliated with Comcast Business expressed concern about the news. According to the partner, early indications are that Comcast Business will "unbundle" some of the channel program's dedicated resources."
"I'm concerned that it will be much harder to get the support that we need, because there will be fewer resources supporting the agent channel," the partner said.
Comcast in September promoted Ed Zimmerman to president of Comcast Business. Zimmerman had previously served as chief financial officer and chief of strategy for Comcast Business. He replaced Bill Stemper, who led Comcast Business since 2006 and now serves as chairman emeritus.
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