Zucker to Step Down From NBC Universal


NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker on Friday announced he was stepping down from his post, upon the finalization of Comcast’s acquisition of a majority stake in the media conglomerate.

In a memo to NBCU staffers, the 45-year-old Zucker said, “the time has come ... When Comcast assumes control of NBC Universal, I will leave the company.”

Zucker said his had not been “an easy or simple decision,” citing his 24-year stint at NBC. “I have spent my entire adult life here. This is the only place I have ever worked. The only professional thing I have ever known,” Zucker wrote. “I met my wife here, enjoyed the birth of our four children in that time, worked in almost every division of the company. And forged relationships, both professional and personal, that will last a lifetime.”

In the final analysis, it was not Zucker’s decision to make. While NBCU corporate parent General Electric in March extended his contract through 2012, Comcast publicly asserted that chief operating officer Steve Burke would make all executive decisions for the new entity through the transition period and beyond.  

The $13.8 billion deal, which will give Comcast a 51 percent stake in NBCU, is expected to close at the end of this year or in early 2011, upon approval of federal regulators.

In his memo, Zucker said his departure is “the right decision for me and for the company,” adding that Comcast will serve as “a great new steward, just as GE has been” and that the new owners “deserve the chance to implement their vision.”

Zucker went on to note that he wouldn’t be going anywhere until the deal closes, “and that day is still months away.” In the meantime, the chief executive said he would continue “to approach everything we do with the long-term interest of the company in mind, just as I always have.

“I know no other way,” he added.

Continue to next page →