NBCU ups Pearlena Igbokwe to head global studios, Bonnie Hammer to vice-chair

Pearlena Igbokwe

Universal Television president Pearlena Igbokwe has been promoted to chairman of the Universal Studio Group in a senior shakeup that also sees company veteran Bonnie Hammer upped to vice-chairman of NBCUniversal (NBCU).

Igbokwe will take charge of the company’s global TV business, which includes Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBCU International Studios, reporting to NBCU CEO Jeff Shell.

“Our television studios are key growth engines for the company, and Pearlena is ideally suited to lead them,” said Shell, who has led a restructure of NBCU’s executive leadership since taking over as CEO in January.

In her role as Universal Television’s president, Igbokwe oversaw all aspects of the studio business including programming such as Russian Doll, The Good Place, Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Little America. Before that, she served as EVP of drama programming for NBC Entertainment.

Prior to joining NBCU, Igbokwe worked at Showtime for 20 years, where she was involved in developing series including Dexter and Nurse Jackie.

Bonnie Hammer

Hammer, meanwhile, will act as a corporate advisor and continue to report to Shell. As chairman of the Universal Studio Group, she brought its three studios – Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios – together under one umbrella.

She previously oversaw the creation of NBCU’s new streamer Peacock, while chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises.

“I am extremely pleased to be gaining Bonnie as a trusted advisor,” said Shell. “Her deep industry experience, impeccable creative instincts and 25-plus years of prosocial advocacy will be immensely valuable to me and our company.”

This latest reshuffle comes just days after reports that NBCU is set to appoint Warner Bros. TV exec Susan Rovner as its new entertainment chief.

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