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Why NBCUniversal CEO Just Resigned

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Shell has resigned following an investigation into a complaint of inappropriate conduct, parent company Comcast Corp. announced Sunday.


In a statement, Shell said he’s “truly sorry” for disappointing his colleagues.  

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

Shell’s resignation, effective immediately, was mutually agreed upon with Comcast and comes after an investigation by outside counsel into a complaint from the woman, who is a “veteran journalist at the company,” according to WSJ.

The stunning departure of Mr. Shell, 57, marks an abrupt about-face for him after a nearly two-decade rise at Comcast. Mr. Shell had risen steadily through the ranks at the cable company-turned-media-behemoth, becoming chief executive of NBCUniversal in 2020 after his predecessor, Steve Burke, stepped down.

Before becoming the top executive, Mr. Shell had a number of high-profile roles at the media division. In 2013, he was tapped to lead the Universal film studio, which Comcast had recently acquired in a megadeal with G.E. He succeeded Ron Meyer, a longtime Universal executive, who left the company in 2020 after he said he was the victim of an attempt to “extort” him that was related to a past extramarital affair. (The New York Times)


Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and Comcast President Mike Cavanagh informed employees of Shell’s departure in a memo.

“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,” the two stated. “When our principles are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”


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