In Surprise Move, Alison Levin Exits Roku to Join NBCU


NBCUniversal is adding to its ad sales leadership.

Top line

In the latest TV advertising industry shakeup, Alison Levin, Roku’s head of global media revenue, is exiting the company to join NBCUniversal as president of advertising and partnerships. In addition, Karen Kovacs is being elevated to president of client partnerships.

Both execs will report to Mark Marshall, NBCU’s advertising and partnerships global chairman.

Between the lines

In the role, which kicks off next month, Levin will have oversight of all initiatives for NBCU ad sales across national, local, SMB growth, Peacock, sports, and the Olympics and Paralympics. According to the company, Levin will shape and execute the division’s new audience-focused sales strategy. 

“Alison is extremely well-respected across the advertising ecosystem for her focus on partnership as well as her innovative leadership in the connected TV and digital ad space,” Marshall said in a statement. “As a pioneer of the shift to data-driven selling, Alison brought instrumental value to the marketplace at large, and I have no doubt her acumen and experience will bring incredible value to our team.”

Meanwhile, Kovacs will continue to lead all new and emerging client relationships and have oversight of the company’s national offices.

“Karen Kovacs has been essential in the collaboration and growth of our enterprise partnerships with clients, and I could not be more thrilled to have these two talented executives join our broader leadership team in advancing our division forward,” Marshall said.

Prior to joining NBCU, Levin had recently expanded her role at Roku to vp, global media revenue, leading new product and go-to-market strategy for the company’s ad sales business and TV streaming division. The exec was the first employee on the ad sales side at Roku.  

In terms of a replacement, Roku’s recruitment process will start immediately, and the company sees this as an opportunity for Charlie Collier, president, Roku Media, to bring in senior-level talent. This will be Collier’s first senior-level hire since joining the company a year ago.

Bottom line

This is one of the first major moves for Marshall since officially being named NBCU’s ad sales chief in August. Marshall previously served in an interim capacity following Linda Yaccarino’s departure ahead of the company’s upfront week presentation in May.

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