NFL chief executive officer changes teams

Goldman Sachs showbiz unit lures Anthony Noto

Goldman Sachs is pumping up its media investment banking team by bringing back alum Anthony Noto, who has spent the past two years as chief financial officer of the National Football League.

Noto will become the co-head of Goldman’s global media group, part of the firm’s larger technology, media and telecommunications practice.

The move marks a homecoming to Goldman for Noto, who served as an equity analyst covering the large media companies at the firm until 2008 when the NFL recruited him to become its CFO. He departs at a pivotal time for NFL execs, as the league ratchets up its negotiations with players on another collective bargaining agreement. The current pact expires in March.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the finance group would be led by the NFL’s prexy of business operations, Eric Grubman (another Goldman alum), through the collective bargaining talks.

Noto joins an investment banking group that is among the most sought-after by media and entertainment executives. Headed by partners Gene Sykes, Andy Gordon and Jason Cahilly, the group has earned fees advising on recent high-profile deals, including for General Electric on the creation of a proposed joint venture of NBC Universal with Comcast; for Time Warner on the spinoff of its cable unit in 2008; for Disney on its acquisition of Marvel in 2009; and for Liberty Entertainment on its merger with DirecTV in 2009.

Noto, who will join as a partner, begins his new job Oct. 4.

Noto’s move follows a similar trajectory to Aryeh Bourkoff, the top technology, media and telecom investment banker at UBS who jumped to the banking side from equity research.