Bob Wright is the chairman of Autism Speaks, a board member of the RAND Corporation and the Ralph Lauren Corporation and a senior advisor at Lee Equity Partners. He served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than 20 years.
Wright served as president, CEO and chairman of NBC and NBC Universal from 1986 to 2007. Wright had one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive, with more than two decades at the helm of one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies
Prior to his association with NBC and NBC Universal, Wright served as president of General Electric Financial Services and, before that, as president of Cox Cable Communications. He has had a diversified career in general management, marketing and broadcasting. Much of it has been with General Electric, NBC Universal’s parent company.
Under Wright, NBC was transformed from a broadcast network into a global media powerhouse with leadership in television programming, station ownership and television production. During his successful tenure at the helm of NBC, Wright developed CNBC, which became the global leader in business news, providing real-time financial-market information to more than 86 million households in the United States and 340 million homes worldwide. In addition Wright developed MSNBC, NBC’s joint venture with Microsoft, which reaches over 83 million U.S. cable subscribers and up to 24 million unique users each month on the Internet.
In 2002, NBC completed three significant acquisitions: Telemundo, the nation’s second-largest Spanish-language media company, with 16 owned-and-operated stations in the continental United States and Puerto Rico; television station KNTV, which provides NBC programming to the San Francisco/San Jose market; and Bravo, a leading entertainment network, reaching more than 80 million viewers across the nation. Networks acquired as part of the 2004 Vivendi Universal Entertainment acquisition include the nation’s most-watched basic cable network, USA Network, and SCI FI Channel. Universal Theme Parks as well as Universal Motion Pictures Studios were also acquired with the merger.
In 2005, Wright and his wife Suzanne co-founded Autism Speaks, a national foundation dedicated to raising public awareness and research funds for autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has raised over $200 million dollars and is the leading autism advocacy organization. Wright has played a leadership role in national legislation regarding autism, and he and Suzanne continue to advocate for federal funding for programs related to treatments and services for individuals with autism.
In recognition of their outstanding achievements in raising awareness about autism, Suzanne and Bob Wright received the first-ever Double Helix Award for Corporate Leadership from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and in May 2008, Suzanne and Bob were honored in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue for their work with Autism Speaks
Wright is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross and the University of Virginia School of Law. He and Suzanne have three children and four grandchildren.