NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is departing the company following an investigation into misconduct involving an “inappropriate relationship.”
Parent company Comcast and Shell jointly announced the news Sunday in a statement that noted the two have mutually agreed on the decision. He’ll depart effective immediately.
“I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in his own statement. “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.”
The media and entertainment executive has helmed the company since taking over as CEO on Jan. 1, 2020, reporting directly to Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts. Shell was first announced as the successor to NBCUniversal’s previous CEO, Steve Burke, in December 2019. In a memo to staff Sunday, Roberts wrote that Shell’s direct reports will report to Comcast president Mike Cavanagh for the time being.
“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,” the memo adds. “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.”
“Please know that NBCUniversal is performing extremely well operationally and financially, and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our position and prospects going forward,” it continues. “We are fortunate to have an experienced, world-class group of executives leading this incredible company.”
In the role of CEO, Shell oversaw the company’s wide portfolio, which includes news and entertainment television networks, the Universal film studio, streaming service Peacock, as well as significant TV and sports production operations, the television stations group, theme parks and more.
The town was shocked by the firing, with other execs texting their stunned reaction to others. Even those inside Universal were shocked by the announcement of Shell’s departure, which follows a company-led probe conducted by outside counsel into a complaint of “inappropriate conduct.”
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter