Steve Burke, NBCU’s longtime CEO will be stepping down, to be replaced by one of his top lieutenants, Jeff Shell.
Variety’s Matt Donnelly and Cynthia Littleton first broke the news for Variety, writing, “Steve Burke is expected to step down as CEO of NBCUniversal next year and is likely to hand the reins to Jeff Shell, who is now chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment, multiple sources tell Variety.”
Meg James, in a follow-up for the Los Angeles Times found out how quickly the transition might happen, writing,“ Jeff Shell will be named chief executive of NBCUniversal as early as next week, replacing Steve Burke, who will become chairman of the media company through the Summer Olympics, according to three people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly.”
The Variety story explains that “In January, Burke enacted a dramatic shakeup of NBCUni leadership that placed Shell in a prime position to replace him, industry insiders noted at the time.
“In the reorganization, Shell gained oversight of NBC Entertainment, Telemundo and NBCU’s international operations, in addition to overseeing the Universal Studios outfit. Shell’s colleague Mark Lazarus was also upped to chairman of NBCUniversal broadcast, cable, sports and news in January.”
The Times notes the Shell, 54, is “a Comcast executive for 15 years, [who] has long been one of Burke’s most trusted lieutenants. The Los Angeles native became chairman of the Universal film studio in 2013, and at the time was considered an unlikely pick because he had no experience in the movie business. A former Fox television executive, Shell managed NBCUniversal’s international operations from 2011 to 2013, but happily returned to his home in L.A. because Comcast wanted a corporate insider who was a Hollywood outsider to lead its West Coast charge.”
The Variety story notes that “Burke was named CEO in January 2011, when Comcast closed its initial acquisition of a majority stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric. Burke was previously chief operating officer of Comcast and before that, president of Comcast Cable. He has become a trusted lieutenant of Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts since he joined the company in 1998 from Disney to run Comcast’s cable division.”