NIGERIAN-born media mogul Pearlena Igbokwe has been names as the chairman of US entertainment and information giants the Universal Studio Group making her the first African woman to head a major American television studio.
Universal Studio Group is a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information for global audience. It is comprised of Universal Television, UCP and NBC Universal International Studios.
Ms Igbokwe, who was born in Nigeria, has broken grounds as the first woman of African descent to head a major American television studio. According to Universal Studio Group, she will lead the company’s growing global television studio businesses and report directly to Jeff Shell, the chief executive of, NBC Universal.
Most recently, Ms Igbokwe was president of Universal Television, where she oversaw all aspects of the studio business and achieved record volume for the legacy studio. Some of the programmes under her purview include the critically acclaimed comedies Russian Doll, The Good Place, Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Little America, as well as popular dramas Good Girls and New Amsterdam and Dick Wolf’s new FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, among many others.
She also served as executive vice president, drama programming, for NBC Entertainment, where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas. Before joining NBC Universal, Ms Igbokwe worked at Showtime for 20 years and was involved in developing a variety of hit series including Dexter and Nurse Jackie.
She was also instrumental in the five-season run of the hit Showtime series Soul Food, a two-time NAACP Image Award winner for Best Drama Series. In addition, Ms Igbokwe currently serves as the vice president of the Hollywood Radio and TV Society board and is a member of the Television Academy Executive Committee.
Ms Igbokwe, who moved to New Jersey with her family in 1971, at the age of six, also sits on the board of directors of eBay, AFI and IAC/InteractiveCorp. She is married with two children and currently resides in Los Angeles.