NBC Universal chief Burke resigns as Comcast COO

Stephen B. Burke, then the executive vice president and president of Comcast, speaks at a news conference in New York in this February 11, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Chip East/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC Universal’s new chief executive, Steve Burke, has resigned as Comcast Corp’s chief operating officer but will remain an executive vice president of the cable company, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.

Burke became NBCU CEO after Comcast’s takeover of the company closed on Friday.

It was announced last year that the Comcast No. 2 executive would take on the NBCU role while he kept his Comcast COO title. But Burke has since decided to relinquish the role of running operations of the largest U.S. cable company, which has more than 23 million subscribers, to focus on NBCU, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

It means Comcast currently has no COO position for the wider company.

The filing also said Neil Smit, president of Comcast’s cable operations, has been appointed executive vice president of the company. Smit joined Comcast last March from Charter Communications, where he was previously CEO.

The new NBC Universal consists of NBC broadcast assets, cable companies like Bravo, USA and E!, Universal Studios and theme parks.

The business is 51 percent controlled by Comcast and 49 percent owned by General Electric Co. Its new five-member board includes three Comcast executives: CEO Brian Roberts, Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis and Burke. The other two board members are from GE: CEO Jeff Immelt and CFO Keith Sherin.

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by John Wallace