Jeff Zucker on Tuesday was named president and chief executive of NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric , replacing his long-time boss, Bob Wright, who will continue to serve as vice chairman of the parent company.
Wright, 63, has run NBC since GE acquired the company in 1986, transforming it from a stand-alone TV network to an entertainment company with cable channels, a Spanish-language outlet, a film studio, theme parks and digital media.
“Jeff Zucker is a terrific talent and the right person to guide NBC Universal on the next stage of its growth,” Jeff Immelt, GE’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Jeff’s 20-plus years with NBC give him deep knowledge of the company’s strategy, people and culture. His creative experience, expertise in news and broadcasting and intense passion for the business were immensely appealing to the Board and to me.”
NBC Universal was created in 2004 by the combination of assets owned by NBC and Vivendi Universal. GE owns 80% of the company and Vivendi, a French utility operator, owns 20%. The deal added a Hollywood studio, Universal Pictures, to NBC’s stable of media properties that includes its flagship broadcast network, NBC, and a range of cable channels, including Bravo, USA Network, CNBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, a Spanish-language network. The company also owns iVillage, a Web site aimed at women.