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NBC Universal Picks Cotton

Richard Cotton has been appointed executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal, starting Aug. 1.

"I'm delighted to welcome Rick back to a position he filled with distinction and which, with the merger of NBC and Universal, has greatly expanded in scope, responsibility and opportunity," said Bob Wright, NBC Universal chairman and CEO and vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric, NBC Universal's parent company.

Cotton has been president and managing director of CNBC Europe since August 2000. While there, he expanded CNBC Europe's reach to 85 million homes. He also developed programming partnerships in Germany (where CNBC Europe now works with ProSiebenSat 1), Italy, Turkey, Russia and the Middle East. Prior to that, he spent 11 years as executive vice president and general counsel of NBC for 11 years.

Cotton holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Yale. He joined NBC in 1989 from Washington, D.C.-based management company HCX, where he was president and CEO. Cotton replaces Lawrence Tu, who is leaving the company to become general counsel of Dell Inc.