Comcast’s Roberts Had One of America’s Biggest CEO Paychecks Last Year

Brian L. Roberts. Image via YouTube.

The New York Times has compiled a fresh list that ranks 200 of the highest-paid CEOs in the country, and Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts made the top 20.

The ranking is based on Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEO data that collects CEO compensation information for companies with annual revenue of at least $1 billion.

Roberts’s 2016 compensation is listed as $28.6 million up from $27.5 million in 2015, a four percent increase. The list also includes a breakdown of the CEO’s earnings: $3 million salary; $11 million bonus; $4 million in perks; $5 million in stocks; and $5 million in options. Read more »

Philly’s Market East Is Now the Country’s Top Destination for Retailers, Report Says

Partial view of the second apartment tower at East Market. | Rendering: Morris Adjami via National Real Estate Development LLC

It’s clear the buzz about Market East won’t let up anytime soon. We still haven’t come down from the news that the area is getting a Wawa, City Fitness and Iron Hill Brewery next year; and now, real estate services firm JLL says the burgeoning Market East is the most affordable and desirable retail corridor in the country.

In its first ever City Retail report, JLL ranked the country’s most affordable and desirable prime urban retail corridors based on an average of each location’s annual asking rent per square foot. Retailers looking to expand better look at Philly: Market East’s average asking prime retail rent is $50 per square foot, more affordable than Chicago’s Wicker Park and Seattle’s Pike Street, which were ranked second and third on the list of ten locales.

“Market East emerged at the top of the pile because we’re seeing significant reinvestment in the retail destination that was once the heart of Philly shopping,” Lauren Gilchrist, JLL vice president of research told me. The corridor’s been long anchored by Macy’s and Wanamaker’s before that, but it languished because of blighted buildings, vacant lots and “a failed inward-facing mall,” according to the report. Read more »

Philly EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Pool Is Tech Heavy for the First Time

A few tech community EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 finalists for Greater Philadelphia. Clockwise L to R: Andrew Voudouris & Steve Voudouris of Turn5; Darren Hill of WebLinc; Yasmine Mustafa of ROAR for Good; David Lindsay of Oncora Medical; and Felicite Moorman of StratIS. 

Now in its 31st year, the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards boasts another impressive list of entrepreneurs, and in Philadelphia, the pool of finalists serves as a barometer of the city’s innovation landscape.

For 2017, 45 percent of the 45 finalists are in the tech sector, the largest representation of the industry yet. “We’ve seen a big shift this year to the tech sector,” Corinne Good, EY Entrepreneur of the Year program co-director for the Greater Philadelphia region told Philadelphia magazine, “And we believe the pool of finalists is directly connected to the activity and focus that our city government has on our startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Tech companies represented on the list include the Malvern-based after market auto parts e-commerce company Turn5, precision radiation oncology software platform Oncora Medical, and digital commerce solutions company WebLinc. This increased representation of tech entrepreneurs on the list makes sense. The region has created 25,000 new tech jobs since the early 2000s, and we’re likely to see as many as 44,000 new tech jobs in the region over the next decade, according to a new report from the Economy League.   Read more »

Ranked: Philadelphia’s 21 Most Likeable CEOs

Left to Right: Richard J. Bolte; Bill Marvin; Amy Gutmann; Apu Gupta.

Owler, a new business community platform and rising LinkedIn competitor, recently released its inaugural top-rated CEO rankings for 50 cities worldwide, including Philadelphia.

The rankings are based on ratings submitted by the platform’s 1 million users who contributed more than a quarter million CEO ratings.

“The intent of our Owler research is not to define what makes a CEO likeable,” wrote Owler head of marketing Nicole Lopuch in a blog post. “[The ranking allows] the pubic to weigh in on whether a CEO is doing a good job or not. There is full transparency.”

She added: “In some small way, how much we all like the people who lead us tells as much about us as it does about our leaders. Why would we tolerate leaders we don’t like? What does it mean if we reward unlikeable people with our highest paying and most prestigious positions?”  Read more »

Comcast Is Fighting an Embarrassing Net Neutrality War on Twitter

Images via Twitter.

To much public dismay, the FCC voted last Thursday to begin dismantling Obama-era net-neutrality rules. Net neutrality keeps the internet free and open by requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to treat web traffic equally and fairly. With the regulation in place, Comcast, for example, doesn’t have the right to block a user’s access to certain websites or apps and also can’t throttle Internet speeds. Net neutrality also blocks paid prioritization by internet providers, which would allow them to prioritize the websites and apps that fork up extra cash.

As the FCC reopens the bitter war over Internet regulation, Comcast has already gotten knee-deep in its own battle on Twitter.  Read more »

You Can Now Get a Comcast Cell Phone Plan

Comcast will ship phones in a personalized box. Image courtesy of Comcast.

It’s official: With the launch of a brand new Xfinity Mobile website, Comcast is in the wireless game, and its existing customers can now sign up for the cell phone service online and eventually in all Xfinity stores.

The site lists various plan options for customers, which Comcast first revealed in April. Most home broadband customers will be able to get unlimited data for $65 per month for each phone line, and with a launch promotion that runs through July 31, customers can get this standard plan for $45. The discounted rate will apply for 24 months. Customers with the more expensive X1 TV plan will be able to sign up for the service at $45 per month at any time. Read more »

Here’s Why Brookings Thinks Philly’s Innovation Scene Isn’t Competitive Enough

code orange | f11photo

A new report released on Thursday by the nonprofit Brookings Institution tries to tackle a major, eternally looming question for Philadelphia: With all of the city’s recent advancements in innovation, why isn’t Philadelphia more competitive on the national and global stage?

The answer: Philly leaders and institutions lack “a sense of collective urgency” to help the city intentionally connect the dots on how to best leverage its innovation capacity.

The report examined what it calls Philadelphia’s “innovation district” the area from 17th Street in Center City to 44th Street along Market in University City and South along the Schuylkill River to Grays Ferry and determined that this region, home to anchor firms and institutions like CHOP, FMC, the Science Center, Drexel, Penn, Comcast, IBX, and PECO, can be further developed and more interconnected to push Philly past its innovation tipping point.

Philadelphia’s Innovation District. Courtesy of Brookings.

But before the authors prescribed their recommendations on how to bridge the innovation district’s gaps, they took a deep dive into what continues to ail the district and also what keeps it alive. Here are the strengths and challenges identified in the report:  Read more »

Does the Chamber of Commerce Have Standing to Challenge Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Law?

City Hall | Photo by David Gambacorta

Philadelphia’s freshly minted wage equity law was supposed take effect next Tuesday, but the city voluntarily put the brakes on the law pending the resolution of a lawsuit against it. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce seeks a preliminary injunction against the law and the first order of business in court has been to determine whether the Chamber even has standing to challenge the law.

In a brief submitted at the beginning of the month to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the city argued that the Chamber lacks standing mainly because it has failed to reveal exactly which of its members will be affected by the law and how.

“Facts about those alleged members, including their names, practices, and any harms they have suffered, remain a mystery as the Chamber has studiously avoided identifying any individual member that will be harmed,” counsel for the city wrote. The brief also urges the court to question the Chamber about these individual members before looking into the claim that the law impedes employers’ free speech. (We’ve also questioned which Chamber members claim the law will harm them.)  Read more »

I Love My Job: Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse Owner Ariell Johnson

Image courtesy of Ariell Johnson.

When Ariell Johnson founded Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse at the end of 2015, the entrepreneur was immediately catapulted into the national spotlight as the East Coast’s first black female comic book storeowner. Since then, Johnson has had to navigate the challenges of being a first-time business owner, and the shop has grown to be the go-to community space where people can bask in their passion for all things geek. The store’s monthly calendar boasts events like Anime Wednesdays, film screenings, book signings, movie and T.V. show roundtables, trivia and open mic nights, and regular appearances from special guests. Johnson tells us what it was like to build her business in Philly and why the shop has become synonymous with “safe space” and the principles of inclusivity. She also tells us what she’d do in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  Read more »

Philadelphia Sues Wells Fargo Over Discriminatory Lending Practices

Image via Flickr.

On Monday, Philadelphia filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo asserting that the bank has engaged in discriminatory lending practices against black and Latino home loan borrowers.

The lawsuit alleges that since 2004, Wells Fargo has operated in violation of the Fair Housing Act by pushing black and Latino borrowers towards high-cost or high-risk loans even when those borrowers were eligible for more favorable options.

The complaint further claims that Wells Fargo incentivized employees who steered minority borrowers to the risky and high-cost loans and specifically calls out Wells Fargo’s “lender credit” loan. The credit allows the bank to pay a borrower’s closing costs upfront but the borrower would have to accept a loan with a higher interest rate.

The city investigated Wells Fargo’s lending practices through an analysis of available loan data, which found that the practices disproportionately impacted minorities. About 23 percent of loans from Wells Fargo to minority customers in Philadelphia were high-cost or high-risk, while only eight percent of loans made to white customers were high-cost or high-risk.

“The City of Philadelphia’s investigation revealed that both the resources of the City and the lives of Philadelphia’s citizens have been negatively affected by Wells Fargo’s discriminatory lending practices,” said City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante. “The Law Department must take action in light of this evidence and halt these discriminatory practices on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia.”  Read more »

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