Steve B. Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, plans to step down.
According to Edmund Lee reporting from The New York Times (NYT), 61 year-old Steve Burke plans to relinquish his position as CEO of NBCUniversal when his contract expires in August, after the Tokyo Olympics. The news was first reported by Variety.
Burke, according to Variety, is working on formalizing his exit plans. As of January 7th, there are no deals yet in place for Burke or a successor. There is speculation that Stephen Burke could move into a top role at Comcast, where he already serves as senior executive VP, or oversee Sky, the satellite TV giant Comcast acquired last year for $40 billion, although the NYT added that the people familiar with Mr. Burke’s plan to step down said they expected him to spend time at his ranch in Montana — he once called it his “favorite place in the world” — rather than take an executive role elsewhere.
Jeff Shell, a longtime NBCUniversal executive, is a leading candidate to replace Mr. Burke. Shell is an industry veteran who has been seen as a successor candidate for Burke for some time, Variety reports. Early in his career he worked for Disney in strategic planning before moving to News Corp. He rose to president of Fox Cable Networks Group, overseeing all entertainment and sports channels, and then segued to become CEO of News Corp. owned Gemstar-TV Guide International. He joined Comcast in late 2004 to run several cable channels including E!, the Golf Channel and a collection of regional sports networks.