A tipster forwarded us the farewell email that departing NBC CEO Bob Wright just sent out to his faithful troops. After the jump, you, too, can read about how Jeff Zucker is "a skilled executive who knows this company inside and out, and has the right mix of business knowledge, programming savvy, and marketing creativity to lead NBC Universal into a bright new era." Thrills galore!
On September 1,1986, I walked through the doors of 30 Rockefeller Center as the new President and CEO of NBC. Today, nearly 21 years later, I am writing to let you know that the time has come for me to hand over the reins. As of today, Jeff Zucker is the President and CEO of NBC Universal. I will remain a vice chairman of GE and, until May 1, the chairman of the NBC Universal board of directors. A press release will be distributed shortly, but I wanted to take a moment to speak directly to you. Most of all, I want to thank you for your support and your dedication. NBC was the nation's first broadcast network, and Universal is Hollywood's longest operating movie studio. USA Network was the first broad-based network on cable television and Bravo, which I was involved in at its birth, was close behind as a groundbreaking arts and entertainment network. We have an unparalleled legacy that extends back to the first days of our industries. I take great pride in the fact that today, nearly a century later, we continue to excel in our unchanging mission to develop, produce, and market the best entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Twenty-one years ago, NBC was primarily a broadcast network. Today, we are a much larger broadcaster, station owner, and so much more: a leader in cable and satellite entertainment with USA, Sci-Fi and Bravo; in news with Today, Nightly News, Meet the Press, Dateline and MSNBC; in financial information with CNBC globally. We are a significant TV production operation, the home of the Olympic Games, a leader in Hispanic broadcasting and in station ownership, and an increasingly powerful presence internationally and, with MSNBC.com and iVillage, in digital media. With the addition of Universal Studios, we are now also a world-renowned film studio, film distribution operation, home entertainment business, and theme parks operator and developer. Through all this change, NBC and its Peacock logo have remained a symbol worldwide for excellence in television programming. So you can understand why I am so proud of this company and what we have accomplished over the years. And why it is with such mixed emotions that I now end my two decades at the helm. But the time is right. We have good momentum, a deep bench of experienced leaders, and, in Jeff, a skilled executive who knows this company inside and out, and has the right mix of business knowledge, programming savvy, and marketing creativity to lead NBC Universal into a bright new era. It has been a great privilege to lead this company. My wife, Suzanne — who has been an unfailing source of strength to me and a tireless supporter of this company — and I are blessed to have had such a long and rewarding relationship with all of you. I leave NBCU in strong, capable hands. And I leave it, and you, with pride in what we have accomplished together and confidence that the next chapter of the NBC Universal story will be the most exciting yet.