NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell ousted over ‘inappropriate relationship’

Jeff Shell is leaving as chief government of NBCUniversal after an investigation right into a grievance of alleged inappropriate conduct with a feminine colleague, mum or dad firm Comcast stated on Sunday.

Shell, who has served as the highest government of the media and leisure group since January 2020, stated in an announcement offered by Comcast that he “had an inappropriate relationship with a girl within the firm”. Comcast stated the investigation into the grievance was led by exterior counsel.

A 19-year veteran of the corporate, Shell oversaw a sprawling empire at NBCUniversal, starting from the NBC tv networks to the Common movie studios, parks and resorts. Lately, he has grappled with the problem of elevating subscriptions on the Peacock streaming service, which has reached greater than 20mn clients however lags far behind Netflix and Disney Plus.

Shell’s staff — which incorporates Common chair Donna Langley and Mark Lazarus, head of the tv and streaming enterprise — will now report back to Mike Cavanagh, Comcast’s president.

No succession plan was introduced, however a protracted listing of potential replacements may embrace Lazarus, information chief Cesar Conde and Linda Yaccarino, head of worldwide promoting and partnerships, observers stated. It is usually potential that Brian Roberts, Comcast chair and CEO, may ask Stephen Burke to return to the position; Burke at the moment serves as chair of NBCUniversal.

Individuals who have labored with Shell stated he had lengthy loved Roberts’s belief. In a memo to workers seen by the Monetary Instances, Roberts stated he was “disillusioned” to share the information of Shell’s departure. He added that staff ought to be capable to rely on “leaders to create a secure and respectful office”.

“When our rules and insurance policies are violated, we’ll at all times transfer rapidly to take acceptable motion, as we’ve performed right here,” Roberts wrote within the memo, which was additionally signed by Cavanagh.

Shell’s departure follows different high-profile dismissals at NBC. In 2020, Common vice-chair Ron Meyer was fired after confessing to creating a settlement with a girl over a consensual affair. Matt Lauer, as soon as the face of US morning information staple the At present present, was fired in 2017 after claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour with staffers.

Wall Road has grown involved about a number of the media belongings Shell oversaw, significantly the Peacock streaming service.

Peacock reported a $978mn loss in earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation and amortisation within the fourth quarter, and the corporate forecast losses to peak this 12 months at round $3bn.

Questions “as as to if Peacock can ever obtain successful scale or enticing long-term margins stay unanswered”, analysts at MoffettNathanson wrote in January.

Back To Top