NBC Universal has appointed Sanjay Macwan as its chief technology officer and senior vice president for Media Labs, a new $72 million (£44 million) innovation hub at the US media and entertainment company.

Macwan takes up the new post reporting to Andrew Jordan, the senior vice president of international technology and operations, who was the focus of a 2013 CIO profile interview.

Media Labs will be based at the new NBC Universal Technology Center, a "state-of-the-art technology centre" in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, which will be the new headquarters for the company's core technology team.

Macwan said: "Media Labs is an organisation that is set up to innovate around the technology ecosystem for NBC Universal across all business units.

He said that Media Labs would be dedicated to working with academic research groups, start-ups and the global venture capital community on new projects.

"There are two main themes which we will be focussing on - one is to look at all the technology innovations which are occurring and create some of the innovations ourselves," he said.

"The second thing is to really look at all the technology disruptions and make sure we are prepared to deal with those, but not only just deal with them but really exploit them for our advantage."

NBC Universal president John Wallace said: "Sanjay brings to this new role an entrepreneurial approach to the business, and a proven track record of successfully spotting and harnessing emerging trends in technology in a wide range of areas.

"That combination makes him a perfect fit for Media Labs, which will serve as an in-house incubator for new technology concepts relating to our core businesses. I look forward to working closely with him as we partner with the company's various divisions to both anticipate technology-driven disruptions to the business, and identify technologies that can help drive business growth."

Macwan joins from US telecommunications corporation AT&T, where he was vice president of the company's Chief Technology Office and headed the CTO Technology Council.