Position: Regional vice president, operations, Comcast Business Services for the Washington area, which provides commercial data, video and soon digital voice services.
Career highlights: Senior director, operations, Comcast Montgomery County; vice president, finance, Gemini Communications Inc. assistant to the chief executive, Gemini Communications; manager, McKinsey & Co.; associate, Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture).
Education: BA, international studies and minor in business, University of South Carolina; JD, University of Texas School of Law.
Personal: Lives in Georgetown with wife Laura.
How did you get to where you are?
The path that I've ultimately taken is really not that radical or revolutionary; it's a fairly conservative path. But along the way I made some detours or choices different from the average person. For instance, in high school rather than take a normal hourly job, my dad encouraged me to start my own business. So I ran a landscape business, a business that sold Christmas trees and a T-shirt business. And, instead of going to law school right out of college, my cousin convinced me to go to Andersen Consulting and learn about the business world.
When I finished law school, I had the opportunity to work at a Wall Street law firm. But two former graduates of my law school convinced me to work at McKinsey instead. And when I was ready to leave McKinsey -- people typically go into strategy or business development -- Reed E. Hundt, [a] former [Federal Communications Commission] chairman who had also worked at McKinsey, suggested that I work at a start-up instead. So I went to work at Gemini. And again, when I left Gemini, a good friend said, "What you really need to do is get into operations, get away from strategy and business development" to learn the nuts and bolts of a business. He thought that Comcast would be a great place to do that and introduced me to Jaye Gamble, senior vice president for the region.
The result of that slightly less traveled path is I got a much more diverse business experience. From running meetings with Phil Anschutz, who is a billionaire, at McKinsey, to setting up folding tables at a brand new office of a start-up [Gemini], to sleeping in my office at Comcast during a hurricane cleanup. You have to be able to meet with all kinds of people and be willing to roll up your sleeves and do whatever needs to be done at the time. That's how I got the role at Comcast because we were building a new commercial services business within the larger Comcast cable business.
The common theme I've learned in business is that you are only as good as your team. One of my earlier lessons on that was my T-shirt business. I had a partner. We were young and had invested a lot of money in a new T-shirt and gone out of our way to get the art work. And, we had one day to make the sales. And that day my partner decided to sleep in. That really drove home that at the end of the day you are really dependent on the people you work with.
-- Judith Mbuya