Pearlena Igbokwe Sets Leadership Team for Universal Studio Group

NBC Entertainment’s Masami Yamamoto to lead business affairs

Last Updated: September 17, 2020 @ 10:14 AM

Pearlena Igbokwe wasted no time in setting her leadership team for the Universal Studio Group, which covers all aspects of TV production at the company.

Masami Yamamoto was named president of business affairs and operations, overseeing all aspects of business affairs for the global studio group including negotiations and deal-making for Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios.

Brad Melnick will be chief financial officer, responsible for financial performance, production finance, long-range planning and strategy.

Tracy St. Pierre was promoted to EVP of communications and marketing; Bryan Mu was made SVP of content and cultural insights, leading resarch and analytics to drive strategic planning and audience insights.

Jodi DiCenzo was elevated to global head of human resources, and Marni Pedorella was named general counsel of Universal Studio Group reporting to both Igbokwe and  Kim Harris, EVP and general counsel for NBCUniversal.

Universal Studio Group is comprised of Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios. Igbokwe was placed in charge of the group last week, while Bonnie Hammer moved up to NBCU’s corporate office, taking the role of vice chairman held by Ron Meyer until his abrupt resignation last month.

“I understand that change seems to be a constant for all of us these days and I appreciate your patience and resilience through these challenging times,” Igbokwe said in a memo. “Now that this team is in place, we will be able to provide more clarity for the rest of the organization in the coming weeks. Please feel free to reach out to your supervisor or your HR manager with any additional questions.”

This is the latest in a series of executive shuffles at NBCUniversal. On Wednesday, Frances Berwick laid out the leadership team for her Entertainment Business unit, which will be in charge of programming strategy and content spend across all of NBCU’s networks.

Also on Wednesday, Chris McCumber announced his departure as president of USA Network and Syfy. McCumber led USA since 2011 and Syfy since 2016 and will conclude a 19-year tenure overall with the company.

Warner Bros. TV president Susan Rovner is expected to run the Entertainment Programming unit. Under NBCU CEO Jeff Shell, NBCU is closely aligning its broadcast and entertainment cable networks, while at the same time splitting up the business and content creation into separate silos.

Peacock chief Matt Strauss will be in charge of the Direct-to-Consumer unit, while continuing to lead Peacock, which will maintain its own separate team within the division. International Networks, run by Ken Bettsteller, and Fandango, run by Paul Yanover, will report to Strauss. NBC Sports will continue to be led by Pete Bevacqua. Telemundo Enterprises will remain separate under new chief Beau Ferrari. Mark Lazarus leads the entire TV and streaming group as NBCU’s chairman of television and streaming