NBCUniversal boss Jeff Shell quits after ‘inappropriate relationship’

Jeff Shell, former CEO of NBCUniversal

The chief executive of NBCUniversal, Jeff Shell, has left the US media and entertainment giant over an “inappropriate relationship” he had with a woman at the company.

The announcement comes after the firm conducted an investigation over a complaint about Mr Shell’s conduct.

“I’m truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down,” he said in a statement.

Parent company Comcast has not yet said who will be the new NBCUniversal boss.

Comcast said in a statement on Sunday that after the investigation it had “mutually agreed that Mr Shell will depart effective immediately”.

The investigation was led by outside counsel, Comcast said, but did not provide further details.

“I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Mr Shell said in the statement.

NBCUniversal’s senior executives will report directly to Comcast president, Mike Cavanagh, until a successor for Mr Shell is found.

“We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other,” Mr Cavanagh and Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said in a company-wide email.

“When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here,” they added.

The company is home to NBC, which is one of America’s biggest television networks, business news channel CNBC, and major Hollywood film studio Universal Pictures.

Mr Shell, who is married, has been at the company for almost two decades and took over as NBCUniversal chief executive in January 2020 – months later, much of the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lockdowns forced the closure of theme parks and cinemas, while film and television productions were halted.

During his tenure, he launched a shakeup of the company, with the aim to make its streaming business and traditional TV operations working more closely together.

As well as owning NBCUniversal, Comcast’s operations also include Europe’s largest pay-TV broadcaster Sky Group.


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