Jeff Shell is set to take over as NBCUniversal CEO from Steve Burke soon, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.
This comes after news broke late on Thursday that Burke would step down from his post when his contract expires in August of next year. According to the Times, Burke will stay on through the 2020 Summer Olympics as chairman.
An announcement on the decision is expected to come as early as next week, according to the L.A. Times.
Representatives for NBCUniversal and parent company Comcast Corp. did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.
Shell, who’s been an executive at Comcast for 15 years, was pinpointed as the most likely executive to succeed Burke, having been one of his most trusted lieutenants. In January, Shell was tapped to be chairman of NBCUniversal film and entertainment group, seeing his role expand beyond the film business to include oversight of NBC Entertainment, Telemundo, and NBCU’s international operations.
The move came as the media and entertainment company was preparing for the launch of its streaming service.
Shell had served as chairman of the Universal film group since 2013. During his tenure leading the studio, Universal experienced four years of record profit, as well as two of the most profitable years in the studio’s 107-year history thanks, in part, to highly profitable franchise such as “Fast & Furious,” “Jurassic World” and Illumination’s “Despicable Me.”
Prior to taking the reins of the film division, Shell served as chairman of NBCUniversal International, where he oversaw all aspects of NBCUniversal’s international businesses including TV distribution, the global TV networks, and TV production. He also helped manage CNBC International, international theatrical marketing and distribution, international home entertainment and international theme park operations.
Before joining NBCUniversal, the Harvard graduate helped lead the Comcast programming group. During his six-year tenure on the programming side, in which he managed TV networks including E! Entertainment Network, the Golf Channel, International Channel Networks, and Comcast Sports Group, they experienced significant growth in distribution, viewership and profitability.
Shell served as CEO of Gemstar TV Guide International before taking on roles at Comcast, and prior to that held several positions at News Corp, as well as leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company and Salomon Brothers.