Univision Communications Inc.'s networks president, Cesar Conde, has left the Spanish-language media giant to accept a larger role overseeing international expansion at rival NBCUniversal.
On Friday, Conde was named NBCUniversal executive vice president in charge of international and business development, signaling the company's growing interest in Latin America.
Conde, a polished 39-year-old executive, had a meteoric rise at Univision, where he worked for the last decade, including the last four years overseeing Univision's expanding TV networks group. Conde, who grew up in Miami, got his start in politics. He was a former White House fellow who worked as an aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell during President George W. Bush's administration.
Now, Conde will report to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke. At NBCUniversal, Conde will focus "on business development, strategic priorities and special business projects across the NBCUniversal portfolio of assets," the company said.
"His experience leading multiple domestic and international businesses will be instrumental in maximizing all the opportunities to grow our portfolio," Burke said in a statement.
The move marked the third major management change at NBCUniversal this week. On Monday, Burke shuffled the deck at Universal Pictures in Los Angeles, tapping his longtime lieutenant, Jeff Shell, to become the film studio's business leader. Shell had been running international operations from London.
Longtime Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer shifted into a corporate role. Kevin MacLellan, a longtime Comcast Corp. executive, was elevated to chairman of international operations, replacing Shell. Now MacLellan will report to Conde. NBCUniversal also reorganized its cable entertainment team.
Conde's appointment suggests that NBCUniversal increasingly will look for growth in Latin American countries. He becomes the second former ranking Univision executive to join NBCUniversal in the last year.
Conde, who worked from Univision's network complex in west Miami, was one of the few holdovers from the previous Univision management regime. The executive, who has a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, comes from a family of high achievers. His Peruvian father is a prominent cardiologist in Miami, and his mother, who was born in Cuba, earned her doctorate after Conde and his two younger brothers left for school.
He is expected to join the Comcast-controlled media company next month. He will be based at NBCUniversal's headquarters in New York.
Univision on Friday quickly named three top operational executives to assume some of Conde's duties, which cut out a layer of senior management.
Alberto Ciurana, who has maintained a high profile at Univision since he joined the company last year as its top programming executive, now will report directly to Univision Chief Executive Randy Falco.
The switch gives Ciurana, Univision's president of programming and content, even more sway within the media company. Many observers credit Ciurana with the improvement of key Univision properties, including its morning variety show "Despierta America," which Ciurana revamped.
Ciurana previously was the top programmer at Mexican entertainment giant Grupo Televisa, which has an ownership stake in Univision.
Isaac Lee, a native of Colombia and president of Univision News, and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, a Mexico City native and president of Univision Sports, both will report to Falco. Falco, a former top NBC executive, in the last two years has recruited several former NBC executives to help manage Univision.
Lee is overseeing the development of the soon-to-be-launched cable channel Fusion, a joint venture with ABC News. The channel is expected to launch at the end of October.
"We are hitting high marks in our performance across all divisions of the company," Falco wrote in an email to Univision employees announcing the news. "With this new structure, we will be able to act with more speed and agility to seize the significant growth opportunities in front of us and continue our company-wide expansion efforts."
Falco now has 13 executives reporting directly to him. Closely held Univision is controlled by Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban and four private equity firms.
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