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Meet Pearlena Igbokwe; Newly-appointed NBC Universal Chairman

Meet Pearlena Igbokwe; Newly-appointed NBC Universal Chairman
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In another tale of ‘Nigerian in Diaspora making big moves,’ Pearlena Igbokwe becomes the new TV content chief at NBC Universal.

She replaced the former, Bonnie Harmer, who is now taking on an advisory role.

This appointment follows a recent shakeup of the Global TV studio’s executive ranking.

Hammer had previously overseen NBCU’s TV productions. Following the new appointment, she will be serving in the vice-chairman capacity beside Igbokwe.

Meet Pearlena Igbokwe; Newly-appointed NBC Universal Chairman

Source: NBCNews

Recall that Igbokwe was made Head of Universal television sometimes in 2016. 

Ever since she has shown great leadership qualities. 

This, among other attributes, has earned her the new deserved role.

Aside from her leadership appointments, Igbokwe has vast experience in the TV business. 

Before entering the entertainment industry, Igbokwe worked shortly at Prudence Financials. 

There she worked as a Group Representative and served in that capacity for a couple of years.

Her career in the entertainment industry started at Showtime, where she worked for 20-years. 

Over there, she began as a Manager of Direct Response. 

During her time at Showtime, she partook in the development of a popular TV show – Dexter

The series is the platform’s most popular series ever.

She was also involved in a couple of other productions. 

Award-winning movies like Nurse Jackie, Fat Actress, The Underground, e.t.c., all had her touch.

ALSO READ: MTN Appoint Former CFO, Ralph Mupita as New CEO

Before leaving Showtime, Igbokwe rose to the level of Senior Vice President in 2012. 

She joined NBCU in the same year as the Executive Vice-President for drama programming.

While heading Universal TV under NBCU, Igbokwe supervised a couple of productions. 

Shows like “The Good Place,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “Superstore” were produced under her close watch.

Over the years, Igbokwe has contributed significantly to the industry. As a result, she has been featured on several platforms, including industry trade magazines. 

First black woman to run a major TV studio in the U.S.

Igbokwe’s appointment, although not unexpected, sets a new record for black women in the industry.

The newly-elected chairman is the first black woman to occupy her position at NBCU. 

Not just that, she is the first black woman to hold a key management role in the industry.

Mind you; this appointment comes two years after making a top-100 list on Hollywood Reporter. 

Then, she was named among the 100 women in entertainment in 2018.

This job is undoubtedly a worthy note for Igbokwe and the company at large. 

As a matter of fact, it helps NBCU to ‘diversify its management ranks.’

Moving forward

Igbokwe will serve as the chairman of Universal Studio Group. 

Her operation cuts across Universal Cable Production, Universal Television, and of course, NBCU International Studios.

Meet Pearlena Igbokwe; Newly-appointed NBC Universal Chairman

TheHollywoodReporter: L-R, Bonnie Harmer (Newly-appointed Vice-chairman NBCU), Igbokwe Pearlena, (Newly-appointed chairman of American NBCUniversal)

Both Igbokwe and Hammer will work side-by-side to elevate the global TV studio further. 

In doing so, both women will report to the current CEO – Jeff Shell. 

Shell replaced Steve Burke as NBCU CEO at the start of the year. 

While commenting on the latest development, He said that;

“Our television studios are key growth engines for the company, and Pearlena is suited to lead them.

“She has extraordinary taste and is well-respected within NBCU, and the global creative community,” Shell added.

Shell also commented on Bonnie taking on the advisory role. He acknowledges her wealth of experience, making her worthy of the new role.

“I am extremely pleased to be gaining Bonnie as a trusted advisor. 

“Her deep industry experience, impeccable creative instincts, and 25-plus years of prosocial advocacy… will be immensely valuable to our company and me,” Shell said


NBCU isn’t the only company to witness a black woman rising to a well-deserving role. 

Recently, Pinterest appointed Andrea Wishom as its first black board member. 

ALSO READ: Former Pinterest COO Accused the Company of Having a Misogynistic and Hostile Work Environment 

Also, recall that Amazon recently appointed Alicia Boler Davis as its first black board member.

As it stands, diversity in global company executive ranking is gaining more attention than ever.

In conclusion

NBC Universal has reaffirmed its stance on empowering deserving women.

As such, it is ensuring diversity in its decision making.

What do you think of black women holding key executive roles in International brands?

Kindly share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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