NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is stepping down after inappropriate relationship investigation
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is resigning following an investigation by outside counsel following a complaint of “improper conduct,” Comcast announced Sunday.
“I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman at the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a statement. “I am truly sorry to have let down my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues, they are the most talented people in the industry and it has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work with them over the past 19 years.”
Shell, who has worked for the company since 2004, was appointed CEO of NBCUniversal in January 2020. He oversaw the company’s portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a leading film company, major television and sports production operations and a leading television group, according to the company’s website.
He also oversaw the company’s theme parks and an ad-supported premium streaming service called Peacock, which launched in 2020.
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Comcast said Shell’s departure “effective immediately” followed an investigation led to a complaint by an outside attorney. But it offered no further details.
Comcast hasn’t said who will succeed Shell.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a note to employees that Shell’s executive team will report to Comcast President Mike Cavanaugh, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It was the youngest media executive to quit because of a relationship. Last year, CNN CEO Jeff Zucker resigned after a sexual relationship with a top cable news network executive was revealed. Zucker, who became president of CNN in 2013, was previously CEO of NBCUniversal.
In 2020, NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer left the company after announcing that he had received blackmail threats following a settlement with a woman he was having an affair with.
At the time, Shell said in a statement that Meyer “acted in a manner that we believe is inconsistent with our company policies or values.”
Contribution: The Associated Press
Chris Kenning is a national correspondent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @chris_kenning.