President, Northwest Division of Comcast Cable
“There was a moment around 1990, where many of us saw this thing that DARPA was transitioning to the public domain and knew it was going to be a big deal.” Kevin Casey recalls the early days of the modern internet as “one of the most fun and entrepreneurial periods of my life.” Running engineering for Continental Cable at the time and representing the company with CableLabs, he was well-positioned to help nurture the commercial deployment of the internet as it moved beyond academia and the Department of Defense’s research agency. That work would help revolutionize an industry, and, Casey says, “our industry has changed the world.”
Today, as president of Comcast’s Northeast Division, Casey remains at the forefront of broadband development, leading an operation serving millions of customers across 14 northeastern states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia.
The journey began humbly in Long Island, New York. Once Casey realized he wasn’t destined to be a pro football or baseball player, he decided to become a Secret Service agent, inspired by a football coach who had served in that organization. During his first year of criminal justice education, Casey needed a summer job. “My father was an engineer with the telephone company, and he was working with Cablevision. I was able to get a summer job climbing poles and running cable, and it gave me the bug,” he remembers. Casey joined Cablevision full-time to build one of the country’s first urban cable systems in Boston.
Always intrigued by technology, he got a business science degree in electronic technology while working and learning the cable industry from the inside. He was also interested in business, and his job gave him plenty of opportunity to explore both areas. “You had to do a lot of different things in those days,” he says. “When our industry was growing so fast, you had a lot of responsibility at a very young age. It was sink or swim. I was fortunate to be able to swim with my little inflatable water wings and not sink.” He moved from Cablevision to Continental. From there he went on to MediaOne, where he moved from the technical side of the business to operations. He was executive vice president of operations for AT&T Broadband before joining Comcast in 2002.
Casey feels fortunate to have been able to surround himself with people who helped him develop as a leader and now follows their example. “Everybody needs a mentor and people they look up to, and I had the opportunity to work for and with so many dynamic, incredible people. I always believed in the entrepreneurial spirit this industry was founded on,” he says. Following a philosophy of servant leadership, Casey says, “I believe in the power of people, and teams, and teamwork. You have an obligation as a leader to develop people’s talent and do everything you can to help them be successful.”