CNBC Chairman Mark Hoffman Steps Down After 17 Years in Charge

By A.J. Katz 

The end of an era has arrived at CNBC: Mark Hoffman is stepping down from his role in charge of the financial news network—and will be replaced by NBCU global advertising and partnerships president KC Sullivan.

In charge of CNBC since 2005 and the network’s chairman since 2015, Hoffman will serve in that role until Sept. 12, after which he will become a consultant to help manage the transition.

The New York Times broke the news Tuesday morning.


“Over the last 17 years as president and then chairman, Mark has overseen the steady continued growth of CNBC as the world’s No. 1 1 business and money news brand,” NBCU News Group chairman Cesar Conde told staff in a memo obtained by TVNewser. “No business news organization comes close to the reach and influence of CNBC, a true testament to Mark’s leadership. Year after year, CNBC has consistently reached the most affluent and educated audience in television and—through its platforms in the United States and abroad—is now seen by more than 540 million consumers each month.”

Hoffman long reported to Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, for much of his tenure, not the executive of charge of NBC News Group. However, that changed in recent years. After Conde, the former Telemundo Enterprises boss, was named chairman of NBCUniversal News Group in May 2020, Hoffman began reporting to him.

As for Sullivan, Conde referred to the exec as “the right person at the right time” to lead CNBC, citing his experience forging partnerships with Sky Media in Britain, Italy and Germany.

“Please join me in congratulating KC on his new role and raising a toast to Mark on his remarkable record of achievement during his 28 years at NBC,” Conde added in his note.

While the change will surprise many at the network, Sullivan isn’t foreign to the CNBC family. The network’s new president served as president and managing director of CNBC International until June 2020—and was previously chief financial officer of NBC News Group.

Sullivan will move from London to CNBC HQ in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and report into Conde.

KC Sullivan

Below Squawk on the Street’s tribute to their longtime boss, followed by Hoffman’s note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

After 28 years with NBC and leading CNBC since 2005, I’m writing to let you know I’ll be stepping aside on September 12th.

At Jeff’s request, I’ll continue at the company to help with the transition.

CNBC sits today at its absolute pinnacle, the number one business news source in the world, connecting with more than half a billion people, in multiple languages, across all media, linear, digital, and analog, every month.

What started with an investor focus is now a trusted source for all things money—and more—built on an enviable and all-too-rare journalistic foundation in pursuit of the facts, the truth, the news.

We are in the business of business, so it’s important to note we’ve never been more profitable, setting record after record in financial performance, year after year, as we maneuvered through economic cycles, exogenous events and the historic secular change that accompanied the information age.

2005 was a generation ago that feels like it passed in a minute. Way back then, before smart phones and ubiquitous broadband, we struggled to find our footing—but were blessed with a spectacular group of dedicated colleagues and a bit of brand equity that lingered just beneath the surface.

We strategized and, working together, took the risks and made the investments that allowed us to evolve, adapt and grow. Once defined as a moribund domestic cable channel that many thought would never fully recover from the dotcom bubble bursting, CNBC is today a global multimedia powerhouse, punching far above its weight, in the digital age. What a marvelous can-do family we’ve become, executing with precision, vision and heart.

CNBC stands for something. It impacts the business world, investors and individuals struggling to make sense of their money. You’ve made a difference.

How do you measure a business success beyond the financials and KPIs? I’d start by assessing the quality of the team, the enduring strength of the brand, and the prospects for growth. At CNBC, we’re three-for-three.

I’m humbled and grateful to have had this time with all of you and so proud of what we have done together. No matter where life takes me, professionally and personally, I’ll be rooting for CNBC!

My thanks to Comcast, GE, and all at NBC, present and past. It’s been a thrill ride.

With love and admiration to all of you, for all you do.