Pearlena Igbokwe Sets Universal Studio Group Leadership Team

Pearlena Igbokwe
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Pearlena Igbokwe

A day after Frances Berwick solidified her senior leadership team across NBCUniversal's entertainment business unit, newly installed studio chief Pearlena Igbokwe is setting her team for Universal Studio Group.

Comprised of Universal Television, Universal Content Productions and NBCUniversal International Studios, the group will now have its own dedicated executive team covering business affairs, finances, communications, research, HR and legal. UCP previously shared resources with the cable groups, while Universal TV did the same with the broadcast group.
Igbokwe announced the moves in a memo to staff Thursday. No layoffs were immediately included with Thursday's restructure.

NBCUniversal has been in the midst of a massive restructuring on the entertainment side. Berwick was given oversight in August of a business portfolio covering streamer Peacock, NBC and all cable networks. Former Warner Bros. TV co-president Susan Rovner will arrive in October and install an exec team covering scripted, unscripted, alternative and late-night. The realignment is expected to create millions in cost savings, with redundancies among divisions including programming, marketing and scheduling expected to be eliminated in a bid to create a more unified and leaner company.

Here's Igbokwe's memo to staff:

Hi Everyone, 

Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios were recently brought together under the Universal Studio Group (USG) umbrella with the primary intention of streamlining and growing our global content business.  Today, I am pleased to announce a cross-functional leadership team comprised of Business Affairs, Finance, Communications, Research, HR and Legal to help meet that goal and set our course for the future.

Combining efforts in these areas to support the entire NBCUniversal television production and content portfolio will foster greater cross-studio collaboration, leverage shared resources and create consistent business practices.

Here is the new Universal Studio Group leadership team that will report directly to me:

As President, Business Affairs and Operations, Masami Yamamoto will oversee 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, as Chief Financial Officer, will have financial oversight of the television studios.  He will be responsible for financial performance, production finance, long-range planning and strategy.

Tracy St. Pierre has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Communications and Marketing.  She will have oversight of executive and corporate communications, series publicity, marketing and talent relations.

Bryan Mu is now Senior Vice President, Content and Cultural Insights and will serve as the lead research and analytics executive responsible for strategic planning, brand strategy and audience insights for Universal Studio Group.  

Jodi DiCenzo has been promoted to Global Head of Human Resources.  She is charged with leading initiatives to attract, cultivate and support talent across the three studios and will oversee workforce planning and production employment. 

Additionally, Marni Pedorella will take on the role of General Counsel, Universal Studio Group.  Marni will report to me and to Kim Harris, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, NBCUniversal. 

I look forward to working with this newly formed leadership team, along with Dawn Olmstead and Jeff Wachtel, to further the collaborative Universal Studio Group strategy. 

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.  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.

Together, our combined studios produce an impressive 2500+ hours of programming currently streaming or airing around the globe, we own one of the biggest libraries in the world with over 120,000 episodes of television and we have some of today’s most ambitious storytellers in our studio family – and this is only the beginning!