Apr 23, 2023 - Economy

Comcast ousts NBCU boss Jeff Shell over inappropriate relationship

Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, walks from lunch at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 06, 2022 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Jeff Shell, then CEO of NBCUniversal, at a July 2022 event in Sun Valley, Idaho. Photo: by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Comcast has agreed to mutually part ways with NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell over "inappropriate conduct," the company said Sunday. In a joint statement, Shell admitted to having an "inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company."

Why it matters: Shell had been CEO of NBCU since 2020, but had been with the company since 2013 and worked for its parent Comcast since 2009. Comcast acquired NBCU in 2011.

Details: In a statement, the Philadelphia-based telecom giant said the agreement was made following an investigation "led by outside counsel into a complaint of inappropriate conduct."

  • "Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal. 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," he added.

The big picture: The media industry, and NBCU in particular, has seen many top-level executives ousted in response to investigations into bad behavior, and often, inappropriate workplace relationships.

  • CNN boss Jeff Zucker resigned last year due to a previously undisclosed relationship with a longtime senior colleague.
  • Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resigned in 2016 after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against him by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson.
  • Former CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves was forced to step down in 2018 after reports revealed multiple allegations of misconduct by the television veteran.
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