Joe Waz, SVP,
external affairs and public policy counsel, is retiring after 17 years with
Comcast, effective April 30.
Waz has had primary
responsibility for the company's public policy. A spokesperson said no
replacement has been named.
"Joe had many duties
from running the PAC to the Foundation and External Affairs and head of policy,"
said the spokesperson. "Some will be assumed by other executives and there
will be a new policy head hired."
"Joe Waz has been a
great asset not just to Comcast but to the entire telecommunications
industry," said Comcast EVP David Cohen. "He has been a great
leader of the company's external affairs function, including his service as
President of the Comcast Foundation....While we'd love Joe to delay his
retirement, he's told us he can't wait any longer to start this new phase of
Waz joined Comcast
in 1994 from The Wexler Group in Washington. Before that, he was at Ralph
Nader's Telecommunications Research and Action Center. Waz is moving to
the West Coast to become a part-time consultant, with Comcast as his first
client. He will also chair the Broadband Internet Technology Advisory Group.
"Joe had an exemplary
full-time career, starting with the Telecommunications Research and Action
Center, a Ralph Nader group, and continuing through his consulting work and
position with Comcast," said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn. "I
enjoyed working with him, even though we may disagree on issues from time to
time and always believed he was an honest broker of ideas."
"Joe Waz is a giant in the communications
industry, and I can think of no one who has brought more intellectual capacity,
integrity, and honor to public policy advocacy," said Tom Tauke, EVP of
Verizon, in a statement. "By developing good and sound policy through
research and thoughtful dialogue, he has helped set the standard for how to
bridge differences of opinion. Joe is persistent and takes the long view, with
a focus on solutions that work for both consumers and the industry."
already heavying up on the policy side. NCTA President
Kyle McSlarrow comes on board beginning next month as President,
Comcast/NBCU Washington, in charge of Comcast's public policy office in
"Joe Waz has been an innovative thought leader and friend for many years and the cable industry has benefitted from his wise counsel and ability to connect the dots on many complicated issues that we've tackled together," said McSlarrow. "Joe has earned great respect among telecom policy leaders across the entire ideological spectrum and his effective advocacy will be hard to replace."