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Comcast (s CMCSA) and GE (s GE) were in need of a CEO for the joint venture that will combine their cable properties, after NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker said he was leaving the company as soon as the deal is completed. Now the companies have announced this morning that Comcast COO Steve Burke will be named the CEO of the new entity.
Comcast and GE are still awaiting regulatory approval for the deal, which was first announced late last year. The FCC and DOJ are still reviewing the arrangement, although it could close before the end of the year.
Burke’s appointment to CEO of the combined company isn’t much of a surprise, as he was expected by many to be in charge of integrating Comcast’s cable networks with NBC Universal’s assets. The Comcast COO is a long-time cable exec who has served on both the programming and distribution sides of the business; in addition to Comcast, he has held positions at Euro Disney and Capital Cities/ABC after Disney (s DIS) bought the company. He also has a little bit of family cred, as his father was president of Capital Cities when it bought ABC.
Most importantly, though, Burke has been key in leading the integration of acquired properties into the Comcast fold. He’s overseen a number of acquisitions over the years, including the $52-billion acquisition of AT&T Broadband assets. He also runs Comcast’s current stable of cable networks, such as E!, G4 and Style.
The announcement may put to rest the question of who will lead the new combined entity, but Comcast and GE are remaining mum on the what the complete org chart will look like once the deal is done; the companies said in the press release announcing Burke’s appointment that they wouldn’t be making any more structural or personnel announcements until the deal is completed.
Photo courtesy of Asa Mathat, All Things Digital.
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