Longtime Universal Pictures vice chairman and COO Rick Finkelstein has passed away after a battle with cancer. We are still gathering the details, but NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer has issued an internal statement.

I have some sad news to share with you today. Last night, after a long and difficult battle with cancer, our own Rick Finkelstein passed away.

Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

He has been a dear friend to many of us and was an important part of the success of this company. He will be missed.

Finkelstein was a stalwart figure at the studio. He announced in June 2012 that he would retire in two years and that he would work on special projects with Meyer until then. At the time, Finkelstein had put in 35 years in the industry, and spent the last 13 years at Universal. He held the vice chairman role since 2006, and in 2009 was given an enhanced advisory role when Adam Fogelson was appointed chairman and Donna Langley co-chairman. He had been responsible for overseeing worldwide home entertainment, TV and digital distribution and strategic alliances. Those roles have all changed after the studio’s exec shakeup last month that saw Fogelson depart as Universal Pictures chairman, with Jeff Shell taking over Universal Studios. Meyer is now the sole vice chairman of NBC Universal through 2017, and Langley is chairman of Universal Pictures.