Margaret Lazo is a Chief Human Resources Officer and board member known for taking a strategic and active role in ensuring successful outcomes for highly visible companies in transition. A bilingual and bicultural executive with a history of successful leadership in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, Margaret is a trusted partner in establishing business strategy, ensuring compliance, managing risk, and improving diversity.
She has guided organizations through complexity, including M&As, multiple CEO and ownership changes, and the creation of mandated risk and compliance standards and capabilities. As a member of the NBC Universal Board, she provided operational expertise and oversight to ensure a successful transition to Comcast.
In 2023, Margaret joined Cerberus Capital Management as a Senior Operating Consultant, leading human capital initiatives across its portfolio companies.
As Chief Human Resources Officer at Univision Communications (2016-2021), Margaret was member of the executive leadership team that guided the Spanish-language network through whipsaw changes that included multiple CEOs and two ownership transitions. She was instrumental in standing up a formal compliance function and committee structure, recruiting qualified leadership, establishing a code of conduct/ethics, and creating conflict of interest policies, backed by an ombuds function and formalized training. She also launched several initiatives that advanced Diversity, Equity & Inclusion across the business, including support and expansion of Employee Resource Groups, adding a Veterans and BIPOC group, and new academic partnerships for professional development and coaching. She worked with a series of management consulting firms on strategic initiatives while also creating a total rewards team and deploying new HRIS and talent acquisition tools. In addition, Margaret helped to establish the Univision Foundation, serving as President and then Chair, to set its vision and strategy.
Earlier, Margaret was Global Human Resources Leader at GE Capital Americas during two critical eras: the buildup of systems and procedures required by GE Capital’s new designation as a SIFI and the subsequent divestment of ~$100B of business value as the company rapidly divested its financial services businesses. She led a multifaceted upgrade of the risk and compliance functions, recruiting leadership with desired expertise from big banks and federal agencies. She established new procedures for talent management, succession planning, and leadership reviews, with regular report-outs on progress to the Fed. She then worked across 10 business units to wind-down operations, participating in 14 transactions over 15 months. She joined GE in 2012 as Global Human Resources Leader for GE Real Estate supporting the company’s return to profitability after the financial crisis.
Margaret also had a series of high-profile roles at NBC Universal before and immediately after its acquisition by Comcast. As head of EVP, HR for the Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, she was a strategic business partner to a diverse portfolio of NBC and Comcast assets, including Bravo, Style, Oxygen, Telemundo, Fandango, and iVillage. She also served as global co-leader for the GE Hispanic Forum, an employee resource group, and a member of GE’s Diversity Council. She previously led HR for NBC Universal’s Television Entertainment division, the Telemundo Communications Group, and the NBC TV Stations Division. She began her career at Macy’s, completing its executive training program before moving on to generalist and functional leadership roles.
Margaret earned a BS in Communications and Business from St. John’s University. A longtime participant in industry and community groups, she is a member of the Board of Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering and advancing the Hispanic community and its institutions. She previously served on the boards of the T. Howard Foundation and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation in Los Angeles. She has been honored as a “Wonder Woman” media leader by Multichannel News (2019), a “Woman of the Year” by the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (2008), and as one of the Imagen Foundation’s “Most Powerful & Influential Latinos” (2011).
Human Capital Strategy | Risk & Compliance Management
- Strong operational expertise and a demonstrated capacity for defining HR strategy aligned to shifting business goals. Deep understanding and awareness of business metrics in diverse industries and public and privately held companies.
- Ensured successful transitions of multiple CEOs and C-Suite leaders. Upgraded people and processes to create a contemporary HR function. Supported a heightened approach to compliance and risk management, recruiting and supporting a compliance team backed by performance metrics, new conduct, ethics, and conflict of interest policies, and expanded training. Guided HR due diligence related to multiple transactions (including the acquisition of Gawker Media). Created a total rewards team. Supported regulatory approval processes and led significant reorganization activities. Implemented health and safety protocols ensuring 24/7 media operations during COVID-19, shifting to establishing future of work practices.
- As the global HR leader for GE Capital Americas, led a multifaceted upgrade to the risk and compliance functions to meet federal requirements related to GE Capital’s designation as a SIFI. Recruited highly qualified talent from big banks while building out committees and practices to support regular report outs to the Fed and other regulators. Established new procedures for talent management, succession planning, and compensation practices.
- Co-led project to articulate a new vision for GE Capital’s business culture, taking best-in-class practices from big banks, to establish new approaches to performance objectives, compliance practices, and total rewards.
- Played a key role supporting business turnaround at GE Real Estate, including its return to profitability, after the financial crisis. Provided oversight to a strategic disposition of equity portfolio and growth/restart of debt financing globally.
Transformation & Change
- Led complex reorganization activities to support ownership transitions at Univision. Partnered with three management consulting teams on critical initiatives: achieving $100M in cost savings (BCG, 2018); executing a CEO transition and board orientation related to an acquisition by Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight (McKinsey & Co., 2020); and assessing systems, processes, and policies related to the Televisa merger (Deloitte, 2021).
- Delivered organizational changes first to shore up GE Capital Americas as a SIFI and then to wind down operations across ten businesses. Helped prepare all assets to go to market, creating a data room for due diligence, and deploying retention plans for at-risk talent and to support ongoing transition service agreements. Engaged directly with successor companies, ensuring that ~85% of employees remained with the acquired businesses.
- Established restructuring actions at GE Real Estate during a business transformation and turnaround period following the financial crisis. Focused on talent identification, development, and retention strategies to support the growth of debt originations while executing an equity portfolio retraction.
- Led multiple organizational transitions at NBC Universal Television Entertainment, Telemundo, and the NBC TV Stations Division. After Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal, guided efforts to integrate a diverse portfolio of entertainment assets, spanning cable networks, pure play digital businesses, and Spanish-language businesses (Bravo, Style, Oxygen, Telemundo, Fandango, and iVillage).
People & Culture | Global Leadership
- Bilingual and bicultural, with skillful HR leadership in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Organizes and focuses diverse teams while building culture of accountability and inclusion.
- Advanced DEI at Univision through the expansion and support of Employee Resource Groups, and the addition of an external speaker series with thought leaders. Enhanced professional development offerings and experiences (partnerships with UCLA, Nova Southeastern, and Smith College; executive coaching for women leaders). Heavily involved in community/social issues.
- Co-led the global Hispanic Employee Resource Group for GE and served on the Diversity Council driving talent development programs and leadership representation, as well as engaging in external initiatives.
- Facilitated significant organization and cultural change as a cultural “conduit” between NBC, GE, and Telemundo by identifying talent to import into key roles.
- Member of the NBC Universal Board (2010–2011).
- Member of the Board and Governance Committee Chair of the Hispanic Federation, the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization empowering and advancing the Hispanic community (2015-present).
- Member of the Board and Vice Chair of the Board of T. Howard Foundation, dedicated to increasing and advancing diversity in the media industry (2017-2021).
- Member of the Board of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, Los Angeles, providing academic, socio-emotional, and cultural resources to youth living in under-resourced communities (2009-2012).
- Served as President (2018-2020) and Chair (2020-2021) of the Univision Foundation.