NEW YORK (
COO Steve Burke will take the place of Jeff Zucker as CEO of NBC Universal after Comcast completes its takeover.
In December 2009,
entered a $13.75 billion deal through which Comcast would own 51% of NBCU and 49% would be owned by GE, but managed by Comcast. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2010, at which time Zucker will step down from his position.
Comcast COO Steve Burke
"Steve Burke is an experienced, talented and visionary leader with over 25 years in the media and entertainment industry," said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. "Steve is one of the most well respected executives in the industry, and I am confident that he will lead NBCU forward to a new era of growth."
Reports speculated that Comcast was planning to get rid of Zucker after the deal was complete. In June, Comcast and GE offered Zucker a three year contract that would keep him as CEO of the new venture. Despite the contract, it was widely speculated that Burke intended to assume control.
"In the last nine months it became increasingly clear that they did want to put their own team in place -- and I didn't want to end up being a guest in my own house," Zucker said in an interview with
The New York Times
"Now, it is clear to me that this is the right decision for me and for the company," Zucker said. "Comcast will be a great new steward, just as GE has been, and they deserve the chance to implement their own vision."
Comcast and GE said that Zucker and Burke will work together leading up to the takeover to "ensure a smooth leadership transition."
Now that Zucker's departure is official, we'd like to know what you think. Will NBC be better off without Zucker at the helm?
-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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