In Face of Comcast Deal, GE’s CEO Praises Jeff Zucker

By Andrew Gauthier 


Would General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt like to see NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker stick around, even if GE sells off majority control of its broadcast, cable and theme park businesses? “Totally,” the GE top man tells BusinessWeek. No, Immelt isn’t tipping his hand that a deal is imminent with cable giant Comcast, as is widely rumored, to swap assets for 51% stake of GE’s NBU Universal unit. And he wasn’t saying that Zucker has been chosen to continue to run the entertainment assets if–as is also rumored about–if GE hangs onto a 49% stake. Immelt’s PR folks put those questions off limits.

But the often criticized Zucker has an unmistakably strong ally in his corner if such a decision were to be made. And, from what I am hearing, Comcast is pretty close to making a decision to keep Zucker on if they can swing a deal to buy majority control of NBCU. That nugget, first published by Bloomberg, “is directionally true,” according to one insider conversant with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts‘ thinking, Another source says that such a provision is already in a draft version of an deal document, although that couldn’t be independently confirmed. More…