NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell Stepping Down over Inappropriate Relationship 

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell Stepping Down over Inappropriate Relationship 
Photo: World Economic Forum / Flickr

A source revealed that NBCUniversal has not been searching for a new CEO and is not interviewing anyone to take over from Shell.

The CEO of American media company NBCUniversal Jeff Shell has exited his executive role after admitting he had an “inappropriate relationship” with a woman in the company. The multinational media giant’s parent company, Comcast Corp (NASDAQ: CMCSA), made the announcement on April 23 via a press release. Comcast explained that there was a mutual agreement between the company and Shell over his departure. Prior to Shell leaving his role as the CEO of NBCUniversal, the parent company launched an investigation led by an external counsel into a complaint of inappropriate conduct.

Jeff Shell Bids Farewell to CEO Position at NBCUniversal

According to people with knowledge of the matter, the complaint was filed by the woman with whom the departing CEO admitted to having an “inappropriate relationship”. In the official press release, Shell noted that he is no longer the CEO of NBCUniversal.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret. I’m truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they are the most talented people in the business and the opportunity to work with them the last 19 years has been a privilege.”

There is currently no information on who may replace Shell as he leaves. A source revealed that NBCUniversal has not been searching for a new CEO and is not interviewing anyone to take over from Shell. The exiting CEO started the lead role at NBCUniversal in January 2020, overseeing the Peacock streaming service and more. During his time with the media company, he was also in charge of the theme parks, television stations group, sports production operations, and entertainment and news television networks like NBC News. Although, theme parks and movie theaters were shut down shortly after he began his tenure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reactions to Shell’s Behaviour

In reaction to Shell leaving his CEO position at NBCUniversal over an inappropriate relationship, Comcast president Michael J. Cavanagh and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts expressed their disappointment.

“We are disappointed to share this news with you. We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other. You should count on your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace. When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”

Before resuming the CEO office in 2020, Shell occupied different offices at NBCUniversal. He served as NBCUniversal International chairman, after which he became the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman. Shell was the Group’s chair between 2013 and 2019, after which he was the CEO of Film and Entertainment before becoming the company’s CEO. One of his earliest positions was as the president of the programming group at Comcast.

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