NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises Group's Dave Howe to Step Down (Exclusive)

Matt Furman
Dave Howe

For the president of strategy and growth, the news ends his nearly 20-year tenure at the company.

Dave Howe’s nearly two-decade tenure at NBCUniversal is coming to an end.

The news comes nearly four years after Howe moved from his perch atop Syfy to a more strategic role under longtime boss Bonnie Hammer. At the time, the 2014 move was described as a way to pull Howe out of the programming weeds, looking instead at new technologies and exploring and experimenting with alternative models. More recently, Howe has had direct executive oversight over the digital business Bluprint, a hobbyist learning side and key part of NBCU’s direct-to-consumer digital enterprises division.

“Dave has been a wonderful colleague for almost 20 years. His ability to think big picture and navigate a complex media landscape, coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit have helped propel our businesses forward,” Hammer said Tuesday in a statement. “We’ve all been enriched by his leadership, business savvy and friendship, and we wish him all good things.”

Howe joined Syfy in 2001, initially as head of marketing and later as GM of the network. By 2008, he had added a president title, and a year later his purview expanded to include the horror network Chiller. Under his watch, Syfy grew to be a more global and highly lucrative entity within the larger NBCU cable portfolio, with distribution in 87 countries thanks to programs from Battlestar Galactica to Tin Man, The Magicians and event Sharknado.

Prior to NBCU, Howe spent 15 years at the BBC in London.

His note Tuesday to staff is below.

Dear Colleagues at Bluprint and across NBCU,

I wanted to share with you that after 18 incredible years, I will be leaving NBCUniversal. These last two decades have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career.

I’ve been fortunate to have had two very different chapters in my time at the company. The first with SYFY, alongside an extraordinary team who dared to think differently. Our achievements helped transform SYFY into the ultimate destination for smart, award-winning science fiction content. Together, we launched groundbreaking series like Battlestar Galactica, The Magicians and the Expanse, as well as unforgettable social media sensations like Sharknado!  It was an amazing ride!

And then for the last 3 years, in a pioneering new role designed to bridge our traditional linear businesses with the digital, direct-to-consumer world. We invested and partnered with several fast-growing digital businesses from podcasting and fan fiction to interior design, beauty and virtual reality. The highlight was acquiring Bluprint, an innovative lifestyle content and commerce platform for makers. It’s been a terrific experience working with the Bluprint team to help transform the business in partnership with almost every area of NBCUniversal.

Each of you have helped me elevate my game and I will always admire your passion and dedication to excellence. I will work closely with Maggie and John to ensure a smooth transition. It’s been a great privilege to work at NBCUniversal.

Thank you all,

 -Dave