Dec 16, 2019

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke to step down, Jeff Shell to replace him

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Telemundo/NBCU

Longtime NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is retiring from his position, Comcast announced Monday morning.

  • He'll be replaced by Jeff Shell, a television veteran who has been with Comcast for well over a decade, on Jan. 1, 2020.

Why it matters: Shell, who currently serves as head of NBCUniversal's film and entertainment divisions, takes over as Comcast and NBCUniversal readies the launch of its ad-supported streaming service, Peacock.

What's next: Burke will become chairman once Shell takes his position as CEO in January.

  • He will leave the company in August after NBCU airs the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
  • Shell will report to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who in a statement called Shell the "ideal executive" to take over for Burke.

The big picture: Burke has led NBCU through some of its most transformative moments, including its 2011 takeover by Comcast.

  • Sources say his exit has been in planning for many months.

Go deeper: The streaming battlefield is getting crowded

Go deeper

CEOs are leaving at a record pace

Data: Challenger, Gray & Christmas; Note: Data shows announcements of departures among public and private companies with 10 or more employees that have been in business for at least two years; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Companies saw a great deal of CEO transition in 2019 — the highest rate of turnover annually through November since staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas began tracking the data in 2002.

Why it matters: It's a record pace of change for corporate America, with high-profile CEOs exiting because of sagging sales (think Under Armour’s Kevin Plank) or scrutiny over executive behavior (think ex-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann or Overstock's Patrick Byrne).

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

Record number of original TV shows created in 2019

A whopping 532 original scripted television series were created last year, according to the latest data from FX Networks Research, up 7% from the year before.


Why it matters: In recent years, experts wondered if the TV market would eventually reach "Peak TV," or a point of total saturation. The new data suggests that hasn't happened yet.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

The stock of the decade: Netflix

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios Visuals

Netflix's 4,181% return from 2010 to the present makes it the S&P 500's best performer of the decade, CNBC reports.

The big picture: Netflix was the catalyst for the now-ubiquitous streaming wars that have overloaded dozens of major platforms with live and on-demand video.