Pearlena Igbokwe has been appointed as the chairman of Universal Studio Group. This role makes her one of the most senior black women in the TV business being one of the key management positions at Comcast Corp.’s entertainment division.
In her new role as leader of the group’s global television studio business, she is replacing Bonnie Hammer, who will move to occupy an advisory position at the company.
Igbokwe moved to the United States from Nigeria when she was 6. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
She worked as Group Representative at Prudence Financials before entering the entertainment industry by joining Showtime as direct response marketing manager. She worked with Showtime for 20 years and rose to the position of Senior Vice President before leaving in July 2012.
She joined NBC in 2012 as the executive vice president (EVP) of drama programming and became EVP for drama programming before being named the president of Universal Television, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, in 2016.
Some of the shows she oversaw include “The Good Place,” “Superstore” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. She oversaw television series which include “The Blacklist,” “Blindspot,” “Chicago Med,” “Shade of Blue,” “This Is Us,” “Timeless,” and “Taken.”
She was named as one of the 100 Women in Entertainment Power on the Hollywood Reporter’s list in 2018.
Igbokwe’s appointment adds diversity to NBCUniversal’s management team, making a black woman one of the people in key positions in the group.
The media group is not the only company that has promoted black females to key positions recently. Pinterest appointed Andrea Wishom as its first black board member. The appointment followed employee virtual protests against racial and gender bias.
Javicia Leslie was cast as the batwoman in July, replacing Ruby Rose as Gotham’s new hero. She is the first black woman to play the role of Batwoman on television.
Pearlena Igbokwe’s appointment comes as one of the changes made to Comcast’s entertainment division under NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell, and emphasizes a step forward in empowering deserving black women.
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