It’s a new day at NBCUniversal and the toilets tell the story. In Comcast’s corporate culture the executive privy is going away.
Comcast has confirmed to TheWrap that it is moving all its executives from their current, plush homes on the 52nd floor of 30 Rockefeller Center to smaller, more transparent quarters on the 51st floor.
With no private toilets.
“We wanted to build a floor more in the Comcast spirit,” Adam Miller, top strategic adviser to CEO Stephen Burke (left), told TheWrap. “Right now, we have bathrooms and opulence. When we move, we’ll have less opulence.” (Comcast chief Brian Roberts and Burke might be exceptions, he noted.)
The change is telling, if only because TheWrap reported in January that former NBC entertainment chief Jeff Gaspin (below right) built a $200,000 private bathroom next to his his office on the Universal lot. That was perceived by the incoming Comcast brass as extravagant, and that was one of the key reasons why Gaspin wasn't kept on.
The new offices will be "more like Comcast," said Miller, "with open glass offices, and they’re small." He added that the ones on 52 are "gi-normous."
But a lot has changed up there in the iconic skyscraper. On the floor where Jeff Zucker (below right) used to sit with Mike Pilot (sales), Lyn Culpeter (CFO) and Salil Mehta (strategy), NBC executives say they haven’t seen a single G.E. executive "in months." G.E. Chief Jeff Immelt’s office remains on the 53rd floor.
The move to 51 will put even more distance between the co-owners of NBCU. (Comcast owns a majority stake.) At the moment, G.E.’s executive offices on 53 connect internally to the executive dining room on 52. The two floors also share a kitchen and wait staff.
Comcast is building its own new kitchen on 51, with plans to serve its meals buffet style.
Indeed, Comcast has already converted the little-used, linen-and-silver executive dining room into a buffet-style restaurant, and has invited about 100 executives to use it. The food has apparently gotten healther, too, since Burke is vegetarian.
Under G.E., only the most senior execs would eat on the 52nd floor -- Bob Wright, Dick Ebersol, Jeff Zucker -- and even they rarely dined there.
“It was very quiet, very austere,” said one senior NBC executive who ate there occasionally. “But any trace of Zucker or GE has been removed. It’s very still up there.”
Miller (left) said that Burke, Ted Harbert, Patricia Fili-Krushel and all the top dogs at NBCUniversal (including himself) will move to the 51st floor as soon as construction is finished.
The offices will be smaller, with ceiling-to-floor glass, and the bathrooms communal.
“Steve wanted a floor that had lots of traffic and smaller offices,” said Miller.
And no $200,000 bathrooms.