Outgoing CTO Dave Fellows will remain involved via a consulting arrangement for an unspecified amount of time.
Werner is no stranger to the CTO scene: He served in that role at the former AT&T Broadband (now part of Comcast), as well as Qwest Communications, and what was then Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI). During his career, he also served as CEO at broadband equipment manufacturer Aurora Networks.
Most recently, Werner oversaw technical strategy and direction for Liberty Global’s systems, which serve 22.5 million customers in Japan, Puerto Rico, Chile, and 11 European countries.
At Comcast, Werner will guide long-term technology strategy, including next-generation architectures, security, advertising methods, and associated components.
The transition between CTOs is more a baton passing than a flash cut, both Werner and Fellows said.
“One of the great things about Tony being my successor is, no one can argue with it,” said Fellows, adding: “There’s no one who thinks they’re better than Tony. I don’t think I’m better than Tony.”
Fellows’ stated reason for the transition was the five years of weekly commutes from Boston, where he lives, to Philadelphia, where Comcast is headquartered. “The time has come to transition into a new relationship with Comcast,” he said at the time.
Werner is widely acknowledged as a clear and thorough communicator, with strong technical and financial knowledge.
“Tony is a can-do person,” said Nick Hamilton-Piercy, former CTO of Rogers Cable, who hired Werner in the 1980s to rebuild the city of Minneapolis, Minn., which Rogers owned at the time. “It was very obvious from the beginning that he favors a can-do approach.”
“Tony studies all aspects of the industry, and uses technologies for their best purpose – and he maintains familiarity with every technical aspect,” said Dan Pike, CTO of GCI Cable.
“Tony’s wealth of engineering and technology experience will be crucial as we leverage our fiber network and IP technology to deploy advanced, integrated services,” said Comcast Cable President Steve Burke, in a statement. “He has unparalleled expertise and insights into the cable industry’s future network needs, and I’m delighted that he is joining our leadership team.”
Werner, who turned 50 in November, lives in the Denver area with Laurel, his wife, whom he married in August, and his daughter, Cara. He plans to spend every other month in Philadelphia until Cara finishes high school.
Werner finishes up at Liberty Global on Dec. 29, and begins at Comcast at the end of December.