This morning, Comcast officially abandoned its year-long attempt to merge with Time Warner Cable. The FTC and FCC had expressed, it turned out, some concern over the creation of a behemoth that would dwarf the already anemic broadband competition and own a major media power with NBC Universal. Comcast's CEO Brian Roberts shrugged off the disappointment in a public statement, saying he's "truly excited for what's next." An email to Time Warner Cable employees, obtained by The Verge, shows that TWC's CEO Rob Marcus is doing the same, in the form of an almost excruciatingly stilted corporate pep talk.
Marcus, who stepped up as CEO about six weeks before the merger was announced, is a little less unfailingly upbeat than Roberts. This could have something to do with the loss of the $80 million severance package he'd been offered if TWC joined Comcast — he is, in fact, "disappointed we were unable to consummate the deal." There's also a slightly poignant apology to Time Warner Cable employees, who have spent the last year under the shadow of a restructuring that now isn't going to happen. But he's still "incredibly excited about our future," which will include a whole lot of "creating value" for various entities. And after all, at the end of the day, isn't a little friendly shareholder value creation all any of us really need?
I wanted to tell you personally that, moments ago, we formally and mutually agreed with Comcast to terminate our planned merger. I'm disappointed we were unable to consummate the deal, which we believed would have created great value for customers, colleagues and shareholders alike.
But I'm also incredibly excited about our future.
When I began my tenure as CEO in January 2014, I committed to three things: making TWC a truly great company, delivering outstanding customer experiences, and maximizing shareholder value. I remain equally committed to those same three goals today. I am proud to say that during the past 16 months, we have greatly improved our Company's operating results and the quality of our customers' experiences. Those, in turn, are the essential underpinnings of long-term shareholder value. Today we are well positioned, thanks in part to the substantial investments we have made in our network and customer service, but most of all due to your hard work.
So now what happens? We continue to do what we do best: working together to serve every one of our 15 million customers better every day. We continue to invest to make our network and our products even more competitive. And we continue our commitment to making Time Warner Cable a great place to work for our 55,000 employees.
I am truly sorry for how the uncertainty of the past 14 months has affected each of you - I know it's been difficult to make decisions about your careers and your lives. There will likely be some continued distractions in the coming weeks as we adjust to our new normal. However, you've already demonstrated a remarkable ability to serve our customers well and deliver results through it all.
Now is our time. Together, we will continue to prove that Time Warner Cable can and will create value for our customers, shareholders, each other, and the communities we serve. I'm proud to stand alongside you and lead the way forward.