Pearlena Igbokwe has been named the President of Universal Television, a subsidiary of National Broadcasting Cable (NBC), Universal Television Group. The Nigerian-born veteran Executive Producer is not only believed to be the first ‘Igbo’ to head a major US television studio, but also the first African-American female to assume the position.
Igbokwe, most recently head of drama for NBC, replaces Indian-American Bela Bajaria, who abruptly exited the post earlier this week. In her new role, Igbokwe will continue to report to Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment, who oversees the studio.
“Pearlena’s remarkable track record in drama programming at NBC over the last few years made it clear that she was the ideal choice to lead the studio into its next phase of growth. Her leadership, vision and taste have resulted in an impressive string of drama successes – from The Blacklist, Blindspot,Chicago Med, Shades of Blue and the upcoming series This Is Us, Timeless and Taken—that coincides with our return to a top position among networks,” Jennifer Salke said.
She kicked off her career at Showtime as Manager of Direct Response, Television Marketing. She worked with the network for seven years.
Pearlena Igbokwe was born in Nigeria. She moved to the United States with her parents at the age of six. She graduated from Yale University, and has an MBA from Columbia University’s business school.