Mark Hoffman, the TV executive who has led the business news channel CNBC since 2005, will step down from the company in September, he told employees in a memo Tuesday morning.
KC Sullivan, who previously led CNBC’s international businesses and most recently served as a senior international d sales executive for the company, will succeed Hoffman as CNBC’s president. Sullivan will report to NBCU News group chairman Cesar Conde.
Hoffman has served as chairman of CNBC since 2015, after being named its president in 2005.
“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,” Conde wrote in his own memo to staff Tuesday. “No business news organization comes close to the reach and influence of CNBC, a true testament to Mark’s leadership.”
The TV news business is a volatile one, undergoing significant change as the larger entertainment business slowly shifts to streaming. That volatility extends to senior executives, with every major company seeing leadership changes in the last few years. Conde took over NBCUniversal’s news divisions in 2020, and tapped Rashida Jones to lead MSNBC. Chris Licht took over CNN just a few months ago, while CBS News and ABC News saw new leadership appointed within the last 2 years.
With that context, Hoffman’s 17 year run at CNBC is remarkable. When Hoffman departs, the longest-serving U.S. TV news chiefs will be NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, who has led the division since 2017, and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, who has led that company since 2018.
Read Hoffman’s full memo, below.
After 28 years with NBC, and leading CNBC since 2005, I’m writing to let you know I’ll be stepping aside on September 12th.
At Jeff’s request, I’ll continue at the company to help with the transition.
CNBC sits today at its absolute pinnacle, the number one business news source in the world, connecting with more than half a billion people, in multiple languages, across all media, linear, digital, and analog, every month.
What started with an investor focus is now a trusted source for all things money, and more, built on an enviable, and all-too-rare journalistic foundation in pursuit of the facts, the truth, the news.
We are in the business of business so it’s important to note we’ve never been more profitable, setting record after record in financial performance, year after year, as we maneuvered through economic cycles, exogenous events and the historic secular change that accompanied the information age.
2005 was a generation ago that feels like it passed in a minute. Way back then, before smart phones and ubiquitous broadband we struggled to find our footing but were blessed with a spectacular group of dedicated colleagues and a bit of brand equity that lingered just beneath the surface.
We strategized and, working together, took the risks, and made the investments that allowed us to evolve, adapt and grow. Once defined as a moribund domestic cable channel that many thought 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. What a marvelous can-do family we’ve become, executing with precision, vision, and heart.
CNBC stands for something. It impacts the business world, investors, and individuals struggling to make sense of their money. You’ve made a difference.
How do you measure a business success beyond the financials and KPI’s? I’d start by assessing the quality of the team, the enduring strength of the brand, and the prospects for growth. At CNBC, we’re three-for-three.
I’m humbled and grateful to have had this time with all of you and so proud of what we have done together. No matter where life takes me, professionally and personally, I’ll be rooting for CNBC!
My thanks to Comcast, GE, and all at NBC, present and past. It’s been a thrill ride.
With love and admiration to all of you, for all you do.
Read Conde’s letter, below.
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.