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Molen shared her decision in a memo to staff Friday morning.
“This was not an easy decision for me to make – yet, once decided, one I am extremely confident (and excited) about,” Molen wrote. “These past few years have been full of enormous changes for all of us, both personally and professionally. While I love NBCUniversal and this team, it is time for me to re-prioritize my focus, have more family time and fully explore my numerous passions. I’m particularly interested in utilizing my expertise to partner with others and help companies succeed, including taking on more Board advisory roles, like so many leaders I admire.”
Molen has agreed to stay with the company through the end of Q1 2023, per a note from NBCUniversal ad sales chair Linda Yaccarino, to whom Molen reported. Molen, along with her co-president Mark Marshall, led advertising sales and partnerships for the company, including overseeing the company’s critical upfront negotiations.
Molen’s departure comes at a critical juncture for the advertising market, with essentially all media and entertainment companies grappling with declining ad sales revenue amid macroeconomic pressures. Paramount, which owns CBS and Paramount+, also saw changes at the top of its advertising sales unit this year, with Jo Ann Ross shifting to an advisory role, and John Halley taking the top job.
Read Molen and Yaccarino’s memos, below.
Subject: Personal News
Dear esteemed colleague, partner, mentor, and friend,
I have some new to share. After deep thought and contemplation over the past months, I have decided it’s time for me to leave NBCUniversal.
This was not an easy decision for me to make – yet, once decided, one I am extremely confident (and excited) about. These past few years have been full of enormous changes for all of us, both personally and professionally. While I love NBCUniversal and this team, it is time for me to re-prioritize my focus, have more family time and fully explore my numerous passions. I’m particularly interested in utilizing my expertise to partner with others and help companies succeed, including taking on more Board advisory roles, like so many leaders I admire.
These past ten years at NBCUniversal have changed my life. I’m immeasurably grateful for the mentorship and support from Linda, our NBCU executive leadership team, and every one of my colleagues and partners. It has been an absolute privilege to be on this journey with all of you. Your partnership and, more importantly, your friendship has made this an incredible experience I will never forget—and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together. Thank you.
Long before I got here, this company was innovating, shaping culture, and transforming the marketplace. I know you will continue to do so. To ensure a smooth transition, I am staying on as an advisor through the first quarter of 2023. Rest assured that even beyond my formal departure next March, I’m always a text, a tweet, or phone call away.
I often say that all you need is LOVE in this world. My love for this team runs deep and always will.
With love and gratitude,
Subject: Celebrating and Thanking Laura Molen
By now, some of you have heard the news that Laura Molen has decided to leave NBCUniversal.
For more than two decades, I’ve known Laura and admired her—as a leader, and colleague, and friend—and I’m grateful for her passion and partnership. In fact, when Laura joined NBCUniversal 10 years ago, our first conversation told me everything: she had the vision and courage we needed to transform. Since then, she’s been a fierce advocate for her team, her partners, and this entire industry—and together we have accomplished so much.
Laura’s impact is all around. Long before One Platform was created, Laura was uniting groups to help us function as one team and rolling out the Red Carpet for every partner. She’s been an advocate for women leaders and multicultural audiences, fighting for them to be valued by the marketplace. She’s strengthened programs like SeeHer and helped to create the Empowerment and Inclusion Council. She’s pushed innovation forward, spearheading massive undertakings like introducing Peacock to the marketplace.
As a leader, Laura has built teams and mentored talent to make our division stronger. And she’s been just as committed to our partners, representing the agency perspective in every single room. Still, this note barely scratches the surface.
So, knowing her enormous impact, Laura has agreed to stay on as an advisor through the first quarter of next year, ensuring a smooth transition and preparing us to build on all her work in 2023 and beyond.
Laura, we’re lucky to have had your leadership and will be cheering you on and supporting you in every possible way.
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