Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: January 13, 2020 EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Mathew leads Comcast through IoT revolution

HBJ Photo | Sean Teehan Comcast Senior Vice President of the western New England region Dennis Mathew.
Executive Profile bio: Dennis Mathew 
More Information

When Dennis Mathew was a kid, his computer-engineer father built computers at home, and garnished the house with the latest electronics he could buy.

That sparked an interest in technology, but working a paper route for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News introduced him to entrepreneurship, as he delivered papers and expanded his route by knocking on doors adjacent to his customers’ to pitch the products he sold.

“I knew I didn’t want to do engineering [as a career],” Mathew said. “I wanted to be in the business space, and to do something with technology.”

Things have come full circle for Mathew, now 42, who was appointed senior vice president of Comcast’s western New England region in October. As the company expands its offerings for streaming, Internet of Things (IoT) and home-security technology, a key part of Mathew’s job is figuring out how to get people to subscribe to new technology.

“Sometimes people don’t know what they want,” Mathew said. “A little bit of it is consumer research, and a little bit of it is getting out there … and seeing what resonates with folks.”

After graduating from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999, Mathew went into consulting.

He worked on technology and risk-consulting projects at Arthur Andersen before he took a job at accounting and consulting firm PwC. Comcast was one of his clients and he helped the cable and internet provider establish IT security controls to ensure its operations met cybersecurity prerequisites that financial companies like Visa require.

Mathew started full time at Comcast about a year-and-a-half later, and moved up to join Comcast’s internet business team in 2008, where he led the launch of new products shortly after Netflix began offering its streaming service. At the time, the team was working on a package of IoT home-security devices that would launch as Comcast’s Xfinity Home business. The products included home-security cameras and alarms customers could access remotely, in addition to other cutting-edge, internet-connected devices.

“On the apps you can arm the [security] system, you can view cameras, you can lock and unlock your door, you can open your garage, you can turn your lights on or off, you can adjust your thermostat,” Mathew said. “And then there’s also hazard detectors like smoke and water.”

Mathew’s current position leading Comcast’s western New England region out of Berlin differs from the various departments he led out of the company’s Philadelphia headquarters. When he led the Xfinity Home business team, Mathew only had to worry about issues within that business line, and reaching benchmarks that were often a year or more into the future.

His new position requires more of a jack-of-all-trades approach, and he must be as focused on the next quarter as he is on next year’s success.

“Whether that’s sales, or customer care, or tech, it’s really thinking about the next day, the next week, the next quarter, and of course, there’s still thought to the longer term,” Mathew said. “It’s very much, ‘hey how do we continue to drive and deliver for the next few months?’”

And that means overseeing implementation and customer response to products like Comcast’s xFi digital dashboard, which allows customers to control settings of all products connected to a Wi-Fi network, and Xfinity Flex, which aggregates different streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Digital business market research firm eMarketer predicts 2019 will show a 3-percent decrease in households that pay for cable from the previous year. Figures like that demonstrate why Comcast needs to offer streaming options, while also expanding its portfolio in spaces like home security, Mathew said.

It’s difficult to say exactly where Comcast’s main focus will be even in the next five years, Mathew said, but with IoT devices becoming available at such a fast pace, that technology will likely be a large part of the business going forward. Just a few years ago it was difficult to imagine wide-scale use of internet-enabled, home-security cameras, or voice-activated home entertainment systems, but now they’re commonplace.

“Anything that you want connected to the internet, we want to make it super simple to do that, and I think that’s going to transform even the way that we interact in the home,” Mathew said. “[Our homes are] our biggest investment, or one of our biggest investments, … so I think that’s going to continue to evolve to places I can’t even imagine. I think it’s just going to continue to accelerate.”

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF