NBC Vet Gambelli Steps Down

Another familiar face leaves network’s sales team

Veteran NBC sales executive Marianne Gambelli announced this afternoon that she is leaving the company, effective immediately.

Gambelli broke the news to NBCUniversal staffers in a brief note. “After a great deal of thought, I have come to the realization that it’s time for me to make a change,” she wrote. “Today will be my last day at NBCUniversal. This was not an easy decision for me to make, but it’s time for me to explore new opportunities.”

Gambelli’s departure comes just weeks after NBCU moved to consolidate all broadcast and cable network sales under Linda Yaccarino. At the time, NBC insiders insisted that Gambelli would be staying put.

Characterizing it as “the right move for me at the right time,” Gambelli assured the NBC sales staff that she was leaving them “in very good hands with Linda.”

NBCU acknowledged Gambelli’s 23 years of service in a brief, unattributed statement.

“Marianne has been a valued member of our sales organization for many years,” the statement read. “We have nothing but tremendous respect and admiration for her, and we thank her for her many contributions to NBCUniversal.”

This marks the third major defection from NBCU’s ad sales ranks in a year. In April, cable sales boss Steve Mandala stepped down after a 10-year stint at 30 Rock, only to reemerge last week as the head of Univision’s client development group.

In October 2011, longtime Comcast vet and first-year NBCU cable sales boss Dave Cassaro left the company almost immediately after Yaccarino was brought over from Turner Broadcasting System.