Pearlena Igbokwe Promoted to Lead NBCUniversal’s Global Television Studios
NBCUniversal announced today that Pearlena Igbokwe has been promoted to Chairman, Universal Studio Group and Bonnie Hammer is taking on a new role as Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal.
Igbokwe will lead the company’s growing global television studio business including Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBCUniversal International Studios. She will report directly to Jeff Shell, CEO, NBCUniversal.
In Hammer’s new position as a corporate advisor, she will draw on her strong industry experience, her influence in the creative community and her long-standing commitment to prosocial initiatives. She will continue to report to Shell.
“This is an exciting time for our business, with demand for entertainment content at an all-time high and more distribution platforms available than ever before. Our television studios are key growth engines for the company, and Pearlena is ideally suited to lead them. She has extraordinary taste and is well-respected within NBCU, and throughout the global creative community,” said Shell.
“I am extremely pleased to be gaining Bonnie as a trusted advisor,” Shell continued. “Her deep industry experience, impeccable creative instincts and 25-plus years of prosocial advocacy will be immensely valuable to me and our company.”
“Over the course of my career at NBCUniversal, I have been fortunate to touch every aspect of the television business and I am ready to take on this new corporate role. It is the perfect next chapter and I am delighted to pass the baton to Pearlena,” said Hammer. “She has a long track record of success and is the ideal person to take the helm of the studio group.”
Dawn Olmstead, President of UCP, and Jeff Wachtel, President of NBCUniversal International Studios, will now report directly to Igbokwe.
Most recently Igbokwe was President of Universal Television, where she oversaw all aspects of the studio business and achieved record volume for the legacy studio. Some of the programs under Igbokwe’s purview include the critically acclaimed comedies “Russian Doll,” “The Good Place,” "Superstore," “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and "Little America," popular dramas “Good Girls” and “New Amsterdam,” and Dick Wolf’s new “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted,” among numerous others. Prior to that, she served as Executive Vice President, Drama Programming, for NBC Entertainment, where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas three out of her four years in the position. Before joining NBCUniversal, Igbokwe worked at Showtime for 20 years, where she was involved in developing a variety of hit series including “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie.”
Igbokwe currently serves as the Vice President of the Hollywood Radio and TV Society (HRTS) board and is a member of the Television Academy Executive Committee.
As Chairman of the Universal Studio Group, Hammer strategically aligned NBCUniversal’s content business for the global market, bringing together the company’s three powerhouse studios -- Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios -- under one umbrella. Previously, Hammer, as Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, oversaw the creation of Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming platform. In her 40-plus-year career Hammer has been involved in every facet of the television business, often being tapped to position emerging platforms for success. Under her leadership, the company’s cable entertainment portfolio, which included USA Network, SYFY, Bravo, Oxygen, E! Entertainment, Universal Kids as well as Universal Content Productions (UCP), generated record profits and viewership. Additionally, USA was the most-watched entertainment cable channel for 13 consecutive years.
Throughout her career, Hammer has sought ways to use her platforms to promote social inclusivity. She created and launched a prosocial campaign designed to fight hate and discrimination in America, “Erase the Hate,” in 1994. The initiative received a coveted Governors Award from the Television Academy for its groundbreaking documentaries and specials, community programs and educational materials.
She serves on the Board of Directors of eBay, AFI and IAC/InteractiveCorp.