Liz Jenkins has been named to the newly created position of chief business officer for NBCUniversal Studio Group.
Jenkins joins the conglomerate from Reese Witherspoon’s multimedia company Hello Sunshine, where she most recently served as chief operating officer. The executive will report to NBCUniversal Studio Group chairman and chief content officer Donna Langley, who announced the hiring Tuesday.
Langley also shuffled her cabinet of lieutenants, elevating some execs while changing the reporting structure of others. Peter Levinsohn, formerly vice chairman and chief distribution officer for Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, has been elevated to chairman of global distribution for the studio group. Jimmy Horowitz has also been upped, with the “vice” dropped from his title, becoming chairman, NBCUniversal business affairs and operations.
Jenkins’ hiring and the shuffling occur after this summer’s reorganization of NBCUniversal. Comcast president Mike Cavanagh expanded Langley’s responsibilities to include overseeing all content for the company, including for streaming and TV. Mark Lazarus, who oversees NBCUniversal’s TV and streaming business and NBC News Group chairman Cesar Conde also received new responsibilities.
According to the announcement, in her new role as chief business officer, Jenkins will collaborate with Langley’s executive leadership team to develop and implement innovative strategies that capitalize on emerging opportunities and address challenges in the rapidly evolving media landscape. The role will function as the connective tissue across the Studio Group portfolio and sits at the intersection of strategy and business operations. Jenkins will drive long-range business planning to accompany the macro content strategy for the new studio creative hub.
“Liz has established herself as an industry leader with a deep understanding of the complexities of our business and her unique perspective and varied experience fuel her drive for innovation,” said Langley in a statement. “She is a builder; whether it’s brands, individual projects, or culture. As the Studio Group continues to develop and adapt to the new industry climate, Liz will be an incredible partner to me and the broader NBCUniversal team.”
At Hello Sunshine, which she joined in 2018, Jenkins first acted as chief financial officer and then chief operating officer, a post she was promoted to in 2021. She was responsible for establishing and overseeing finance, business affairs, operations, physical production and music, as well as facilitating the growth of the company’s content and direct-to-consumer businesses. She led the acquisitions of SKR Productions and the home organization/lifestyle brand The Home Edit, as well as the 2021 sale of Hello Sunshine to Candle Media and subsequent integration efforts.
Before that she served as the head of strategic ventures for Sony PlayStation and senior vp corporate development and strategy at Media Rights Capital. Jenkins currently serves as board chair for GLAAD and is on the board of directors of Baby2Baby, the nonprofit organization providing essential items to children in need across the country.
Stated Jenkins, “The media space has never been more dynamic, disruptive and frankly, disrupted. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in the independent space to bear in the more interconnected, multi-platform landscape that Donna and her team are building at NBCUniversal Studio Group. I look forward to collaborating across NBCU to realize value creation throughout the portfolio.”
As chairman of global distribution, Levinsohn adds oversight for the international theatrical distribution group—run by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg—who will now report to Levinsohn. Levinsohn now has all content distribution including domestic theatrical, international theatrical, home entertainment and global television distribution (licensing) under his ambit.
Horowitz now gains oversight of all business affairs leads across content areas.