— The five-time Emmy Award winning president of NBC Universal, Jeff Zucker, said Friday that he plans to step down after Comcast takes over the media company.
Zucker, 45, made the announcement in an e-mail to employees.
"It has not been an easy or simple decision. I have spent my entire adult life here, more than 24 years. This is the only place I have ever worked," Zucker said in the e-mail.
In December 2009, Comcast and General Electric, the parent company of NBC Universal, announced a deal that would give the cable company eventual control of NBC with a 51 percent stake. That deal is expected to close by year's end, depending on regulatory approval.
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Zucker said he did not know what he would do next. "I don't yet know what my future will bring," he said.
Zucker also said he felt it was the right decision for him to leave and the right decision for the company. "Comcast will be a great new steward, just as GE has been, and they deserve the chance to implement their own vision," he said in the e-mail.
A five-time Emmy Award winner, Zucker graduated from Harvard in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in American history. He served as president of the Harvard Crimson from 1985 to 1986.
After graduating from Harvard in 1986 he joined NBC’s Olympic unit and went on to spend his entire career at NBC Universal, according to his bio on NBC’s corporate Web site.
Zucker spent more than 24 years with the company, diversifying its portfolio with acquisitions such as Oxygen, the Weather Channel and Sparrowhawk Media. He expanded the brand globally, oversaw the growth of NBC Universal's theme park business and led its digital expansion, including his role as one of the architects of Hulu.
Zucker served as president of the NBC Universal Television Group from May 2004 until January 2007. Before that, he was president of the Entertainment, News & Cable Group and president of NBC Entertainment.
Before taking the helm of NBC Entertainment in 2001, Zucker spent nearly eight years as the executive producer of NBC News' Today. He was appointed to that position in January 1992 at age 26, which made him the youngest executive producer in the history of the program.
He produced every major news special for NBC News from 1992 through 2000. He also served as executive producer of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw in February and March 1993, a post held concurrently with his role at Today.