Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014 - 9

MSO FINANCIAL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Cathy Avgiris
Comcast
When it comes to focus, drive and determination, few execs
exhibit those qualities as consistently and effectively as
Comcast Cable EVP and CFO Cathy Avgiris. And while Avgiris
ranks as one of the most knowledgeable fi nance execs
in the business, it's her well-rounded breadth of knowledge
of every aspect of cable that pushed her over the top to
make her Cablefax's 2014 Financial Executive of the Year.
Avgiris doesn't just live and breathe fi nance. She has
always made sure to understand every aspect of the business
from operations to product development to marketing.
Her intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn every angle
of cable over her 22 years at Comcast prompted the MSO
to promote Avgiris last year to her current position (she just
celebrated one year in the new job).
It's not diffi cult to understand why Comcast chief Neil
Smit puts so much faith in Avgiris' abilities. " It's understanding
what are our growth drivers and what drives our
business, and if you need to pull levers, which ones can you
pull to keep fueling growth, " she says. " That's what I love
about being in the position I'm in. Trying to leverage that
with my product experience and my operations experience
has been really rewarding. "
Interestingly, Avgiris' fi rst year has been marked by
Comcast's bold proposal to acquire Time Warner Cable, a
process that will draw considerably upon her organizational
and strategic skills as she works on integration issues and
gathers data for regulators whose
approval will make or break the
deal. While Avgiris wasn't involved
in the pre-deal negotiations
(Comcast Corp. CFO
Michael Angelakis handled
that), she relishes the opportunity
to contribute now.
" I'm always up for a good
challenge, " she says. " I
do have responsibility
for the integration
planning, and that's
where we are now.
It's how do we make
two great companies
into one plus one
equals fi ve... From
the product side,
I've had lots of longstanding
relationships
with others in
Cablefax: The Magazine
July 2014
the industry, including at Time Warner Cable, so that's been
benefi cial, and it's great to reconnect with folks who I have
worked with over the years. "
That product experience also helped Avgiris develop
what may become one of Comcast's most signifi cant initiatives
in years-namely, the creation of the Sales Portal Platform
to streamline the sales process at all customer touch
points. Avgiris fi rst started developing the system before
she took her current gig and while tasked with working with
Verizon Wireless on the MSO's earlier mobile partnership.
That required integrating sales systems so that Verizon reps
could effectively sell Comcast products.
It wasn't long before she leveraged the system to work
with other Comcast partners; Avgiris now foresees a time
when it could form the backbone of Comcast's entire customer
relationship matrix-essentially creating a seamless
system in which no customer needs to give any CSR or
partner info twice or get mired in repetitive steps that slow
down the sale. " And ultimately, that ends up being a better
customer experience because it enables us to do business
with the customer, and we connect our own dots rather
than expecting our customers to connect our dots, " she
says. " I think that's going to end up being a key element of
our continuing to improve our customer experience. That's
why I'm so passionate about it. "
It's that kind of initiative and outside-the-box thinking
that has largely fueled Avgiris' success. And for executives
trying to reach her level, she gives this advice: " Being
willing to move out of your comfort zone is really important
and being able to learn about every aspect of the business
you're in makes you a more valuable person for the company
that you work for... All of that has made me a better
executive for the company because I understand what our
products are and how they work. "
- Michael Grebb
Avgiris was most recently EVP and GM of Communications
and Data Services for Comcast's Xfinity Internet, Xfinity
Voice, and consumer wireless businesses.
Before joining Comcast in 1992, Avgiris spent 11 years in
finance, serving as Chief Financial Officer of Drexel Industries,
Inc. and as an audit manager with Deloitte & Touche.
In 2010, Avgiris won the NCTA's Vanguard Award for Distinguished
Leadership for Cable Operations Management.
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9
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Cablefax The Magazine - July 2014

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