Jeff Shell left his function as NBCUniversal CEO on Sunday after he admitted an “inappropriate relationship” with a girl within the firm, company mother or father Comcast introduced.
“At present is my final day as CEO of NBCUniversal. I had an inappropriate relationship with a girl within the firm, which I deeply remorse. I am really sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they’re essentially the most proficient individuals within the enterprise and the chance to work with them the final 19 years has been a privilege,” Shell mentioned in an announcement.
Comcast employed exterior counsel to start an investigation following a grievance. The grievance was filed by the girl with whom Shell mentioned he had an “inappropriate relationship,” in accordance with individuals accustomed to the matter. They declined to be named as a result of delicate nature of the developments.
An organization e-mail mentioned Shell’s staff will report back to Comcast President Mike Cavanagh. The corporate hasn’t been interviewing or trying to find a substitute, and has no plans to take action instantly, mentioned an individual near the matter. Shell, in addition to different leaders at NBCUniversal, have already been reporting into Cavanagh for a while and he is aware of the enterprise properly, the particular person mentioned.
“We’re disenchanted to share this information with you. We constructed this firm on a tradition of integrity. Nothing is extra essential than how we deal with one another. It is best to rely in your leaders to create a protected and respectful office. When our ideas and insurance policies are violated, we’ll all the time transfer shortly to take acceptable motion, as now we have accomplished right here,” Cavanagh and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts mentioned in a separate assertion Sunday.
Roberts will even get extra concerned with the NBCUniversal enterprise alongside Cavanagh, the particular person mentioned.
Shell, who’s married, took over as CEO of NBCUniversal in January 2020. He oversaw the corporate’s theme parks, its Peacock streaming service, sports activities manufacturing operations, tv stations group, and leisure and information tv networks like NBC Information.
A lot of his time as CEO was formed by the Covid pandemic, which compelled the U.S. and far of the world to close down weeks into his new place. Throughout that point theme parks and film theaters had been shuttered, and the leisure trade was upended as movie and TV manufacturing shut down.
Shell, who succeeded Steve Burke, ushered within the launch of Peacock in mid-2020, NBCUniversal’s reply to the streaming wars. Whereas Peacock was formulated underneath Burke, the streaming service grew and added extra subscribers and content material with Shell on the helm.
Peacock’s losses have weighed on NBCUniversal’s total enterprise. Throughout the firm’s final earnings name, Cavanagh mentioned Peacock’s 2022 losses had been in step with its earlier outlook of $2.5 billion. Comcast has mentioned it expects Peacock’s losses to be as much as round $2 billion in 2023. Comcast is because of report earnings Thursday. Shares of Comcast are up about 8% to this point this yr.
Simply months after taking the CEO publish, Shell reshaped NBCUniversal’s enterprise and broke down the fiefdoms within the TV phase, with the intention of streaming and conventional TV working extra carefully collectively.
As a part of the restructuring, layoffs befell that had been anticipated to impact lower than 10% of the then-35,000 full-time workers. Cuts had been made throughout all of NBCUniversal’s enterprise segments.
NBCUniversal has additionally assessed its portfolio of cable TV networks underneath Shell. In 2021, the corporate shut down NBC Sports activities, shifting a lot of its sports activities programming to USA Community and Peacock. Peacock has additionally grow to be the streaming dwelling of the Olympics.
Throughout the identical time, longtime NBCUniversal govt Ron Meyer left the corporate after disclosing he was underneath extortion risk attributable to a non-public settlement he reached with a girl after an extramarital affair.
On the time, Shell knowledgeable workers of Meyer’s exit, saying, “Ron Meyer knowledgeable NBCUniversal that he had acted in a way which we consider just isn’t according to our firm insurance policies or values.”
Shell had risen by way of the ranks of Comcast and NBCUniversal through the years.
One in all his earliest roles was as president of Comcast’s programming group, the place he managed nationwide and regional TV networks, together with E! He had additionally beforehand served because the chairman of NBCUniversal Worldwide, and later served because the chairman of the Common Filmed Leisure Group from 2013 to 2019. Earlier than taking the helm as CEO, Shell was chairman of NBCUniversal Movie and Leisure.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the mother or father firm of CNBC.