Mark Hoffman To Step Down As CNBC Chairman, KC Sullivan To Return To Network As President

·5 min read

Mark Hoffman is stepping down as the longtime head of CNBC in September, and will be succeeded by NBCU executive KC Sullivan.

The leadership change, to take place on Sept. 12, will mark the end of Hoffman’s tenure at the network, one of the longest in cable news channel history.

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Cesar Conde, chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, said in a statement, “The growth and success of CNBC over so many years is a testament to Mark’s leadership over a nearly three-decade-long career marked by many wins along the way. During his tenure, CNBC became a world leader and every year it has grown better and stronger. It continues to expand both domestically and internationally through new platforms and plays an essential role in keeping audiences and markets informed in real time about consequential issues and events.”

KC Sullivan - Credit: CNBC
KC Sullivan - Credit: CNBC

CNBC

Hoffman first joined CNBC in 1997, then left three years later to lead an NBC-owned station in Connecticut. He returned in 2005 to become president of the business network, and later chairman in 2015.

His departure comes after a change in the structure of the NBCU news properties. In 2020, when Conde was tapped to lead a newly formed NBCU news group, with CNBC under his purview. Previously, Andrew Lack has overseen NBC News and MSNBC, and Hoffman had overseen CNBC. Hoffman began reporting to Conde, having previously reported to NBCU chairman Steve Burke.

Sullivan, who will report to Conde, most recently has been president and managing director of NBCU Global Advertising and Partnerships based in London. He previously was president and managing director of CNBC International, chief financial officer of the news group, and CFO of CNBC. He came to NBC from General Electric, where he worked for nine years.

Hoffman greatly expanded the CNBC footprint during his tenure, increasing stakes in international branded properties.

CNBC is one of NBCU’s most profitable news assets and, in addition to digital expansions of CNBC.com, has increased subscription offerings under Hoffman. Last year, one of the network’s stars, Jim Cramer, signed a new deal that included the creation of the CNBC Investing Club. Hoffman also hired Shepard Smith in 2020, but his 7 PM newscast has not drawn substantial viewership.

In a memo to employees, per CNBC, Hoffman wrote, “Once defined as a moribund domestic cable channel that many though would never fully recover from the dotcom bubble bursting, CNBC is today a global multimedia powerhouse, punching far above its weight, in the digital age.”

Conde credited Sullivan with creating a global partnerships team that has tripled revenue within the past two years. That included a partnership with Comcast-owned Sky Media in the UK, Italy and Germany, as well as one the the RTL Ad Alliance.

Conde said that Sullivan was “the right person at the right time to lead CNBC forward. His exceptional track record of leadership at CNBC and NBC News, combined with his extensive commercial experience and international perspective will take the organization to the next level.”

Conde said that Hoffman has agreed to serve as a consultant “to ensure a smooth leadership transition.”

This is the latest leadership change at NBCU’s news channels since Conde became chairman. Rashida Jones succeeded longtime MSNBC Phil Griffin in 2021.

Conde’s memo on the leadership change is below:

Hey all,

After an extraordinary run, Mark Hoffman will be stepping down as Chairman of CNBC. I am delighted to report that KC Sullivan will be returning to the network to become President beginning on September 12.

Over the last 17 years as President and then Chairman, Mark has overseen the steady continued growth of CNBC as the world’s #1 business and money news brand. No business news organization comes close to the reach and influence of CNBC, a true testament to Mark’s leadership. Year after year, CNBC has consistently reached the most affluent and educated audience in television, and through its platforms in the United States and abroad, is now seen by more than 540 million consumers each month. Mark has also led CNBC into numerous new areas of profitability, including events, digital publications, and direct-to-consumer products.

Many of you already know KC, a 13-year veteran of NBCUniversal who has spent the last two years as President and Managing Director of NBCU Global Advertising and Partnerships based in London. In that role, he created the Global Partnerships team, which tripled revenue in two years, while building a collaborative, inclusive culture. He forged a strong partnership with Sky Media in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany and established a new partnership with the RTL Ad Alliance.

Before that, KC spent more than a decade in leadership roles at CNBC and NBCU News Group, including as President and Managing Director of CNBC International, Chief Financial Officer of the News Group, and CFO of CNBC. While at CNBC International, he opened bureaus in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and China, launched partnerships in Indonesia and Thailand, and created “East Tech West,” a multi-year, industry-leading tech event in the Guangdong region of China.

In his new role, KC will be moving back to the United States shortly and will be reporting to me. Mark has agreed to stay on as a consultant to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

Please join me in congratulating KC on his new role and raising a toast to Mark on his remarkable record of achievement during his 28 years at NBC.

 

Take care,

Cesar

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