The venerable communications lead previously served as EVP of global comms for Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, working closely with chairman Donna Langley.
In a Tuesday memo from NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and chief administration officer Adam Miller, the pair said Gardner will now collaborate “with West Coast business leaders to drive strategies that help grow our business, be the preferred home for top talent, elevate and protect our reputation, and maintain and enhance our external relationships.”
Shell and Miller underscored Gardner’s deep knowledge of the company’s California assets — including the Universal Pictures lot, theme park, and broadcast operations — as factors in her elevation. She will report directly to Miller with a dotted line to Shell.
As Gardner moves away from the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Evan Langweiler will take her post as executive vice president of global communications, leading his own team across the content portfolio.
“I continue to be proud of Cindy’s leadership since joining our team, and I am thrilled that her passion and commitment will now stretch across the broader company,” Langley said in her own staff memo. “Cindy has been and will continue to be a trusted advisor, colleague and friend to our leadership team, and so many of you, and I’m thrilled she is taking this next step in her career at NBCU.”
Gardner has been with the company since 1996. Before her role as comms EVP, she served as senior vice president of corporate affairs at Universal Studios for 11 years, beginning in 2005. She held numerous public relations roles at NBCU prior, largely in the orbit of longtime colleague and former NBCUniversal Vice Chair Ron Meyer.
Previously, Gardner served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Universal Studios for 11 years beginning in 2005. Gardner joined Universal in 1995 and held various communications roles including Vice President, Corporate Affairs; Director of Corporate Communications and Special Projects; and public relations associate.
She began her career as a marketing associate and account manager for National Computer Systems in Mesa, Arizona, and later worked at Rosen & Company as an account manager.
Gardner has served on the board of the Universal City North Hollywood Chamber and as treasurer of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council representing Universal Studios. She is also a board member of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Discover a Star Foundation.
She is a graduate of Arizona State University, holding a B.A. in business management.