Cavanagh will replace CFO Michael Angelakis, who is moving to chief executive of a new strategic investment company. The transition is expected to be completed this summer, Comcast said.
Cavanagh is co-president and co-chief operating officer at the Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager based in New York. Previously, he was CFO and a member of JPMorgan Chase 's operating committee.
"I'm so thrilled Mike is joining our team," Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. "He is a world-class executive with significant experience leading and overseeing large companies with multiple, complex businesses. He has had a distinguished career that spans more than two decades, is incredibly talented, and will be a great leader for Comcast."
Said Cavanagh: "Comcast is an exceptional company that is well-positioned to win in the rapidly evolving media and technology industries. The opportunity to work closely with Brian and one of the best management teams I've come across in any industry was something I could not pass up."
DISCLOSURE: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns CNBC.
CORRECTION: This piece has been corrected to reflect that Michael Angelakis is moving to CEO of a new strategic investment company.