Mark Lazarus has bolstered his executive team at NBC Sports Group, hiring former ESPN executive Rob Simmelkjaer at SVP of NBC Sports Ventures, a unit that comprises NBC-owned businesses like the Alliance of Action Sports, the American Century Golf Championship, the ADT Golf Skills Challenge, the Heads Up Poker Championship and the National Dog Show. Simmelkjaer also will lead international business development at the sports group — drawing on his experience managing ESPN/Disney’s Olympics relationship as ESPN’s VP International Development and Corporate Projects — and he will also oversee its stake in Universal Sports. He reports to Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics and EVP Strategic Partnerships at NBC Sports Group. Meanwhile, Lazarus also promoted Earl Marshall to CFO; he had been CFO of the NBC Sports Cable Group. He will have oversight of the NBC Sports Group consisting of NBC Sports, Olympics, Versus, Golf Channel, the 11 regional sports networks and digital assets and report to Lazarus.

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