GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is “leaning toward” replacing NBCU CEO Bob Wright with NBC TV chief Jeff Zucker within the next few months.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt is pushing NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright toward the door early next year and sees NBCU TV chief Jeff Zucker as his likely successor, the New York Times reported yesterday.
“Bob’s done his job extremely well for a long period of time,” GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in an interview with the Times, “and he’s getting close to retirement.”
Although GE has no set retirement policy, few executives stay there beyond 65. Wright is 63.
With its story, the Times confirms earlier ones in The New York Post.
When asked by the Times whether he wants to discuss his career plans, Wright sharply replied “no!” and then laughed. “Listen, I stay here because I enjoy it,” he said. “And I also feel a certain sense of obligation.”
According to the Times, Immelt said Wright’s retirement would happen soon but refrained from specifying a time frame. Wright, for his part, said he feels that nothing is imminent.
“My time will come when I’m not needed to do this and I don’t want to do it,” Wright said. “It isn’t right now. That’s all I can tell you.”
Zucker has long been seen as the heir apparent at NBC, although not a sure bet. According to the Times, Immelt indicated that top job is now his to lose. “I am today and have been a Jeff Zucker fan,” he said. “I don’t want to put any sharper edge on that other than to say that Jeff is a talented executive.”