This is the second career change in about a year for Michael Cavanagh, a well-known name in the financial world. After 10 years at JPMorgan Chase, including six as CFO, he was considered a potential successor to CEO Jamie Dimon. His feelings about the company apparently changed after he led a task force that investigated J.P. Morgan’s 2012 “London whale” trading scandal. The bank lost $6 billion from derivatives trading, and then paid more than $20 billion to settle lawsuits and investigations.
In early 2014 he stunned virtually everybody by becoming co-COO of asset management company The Carlyle Group. Now he’ll move from New York to Philadelphia to become Comcast’s CFO, replacing Michael Angelakis, who is about to lead a Comcast-backed investment fund. Cavanaugh will become CFO “no later than July 6,” Comcast says in an SEC filing.
“He is a world-class executive with significant experience leading and overseeing large companies with multiple, complex businesses,” CEO Brian Roberts says. “He has had a distinguished career that spans more than two decades, is incredibly talented, and will be a great leader for Comcast.”
Cavanagh calls the No. 1 cable operator and owner of NBCUniversal “an exceptional company that is well-positioned to win in the rapidly evolving media and technology industries. The opportunity to work closely with Brian and one of the best management teams I’ve come across in any industry was something I could not pass up.”
His contract runs through the end of 2019, according to the SEC filing. It includes a $10 million signing bonus in performance-based restricted stock units that vest after 13 months. He will get $2.5 million in similar awards that vest over a three year period. Comcast contributed $10 million for him to its deferred compensation plan, which guarantees a 9% interest rate. His base salary is set at $1.8 million, with a cash bonus potentially worth three times that amount.
He’s on the board of Yum! Brands, Inc. and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.