Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, is leaving the company “effective immediately”, according to a statement released by Comcast Corporation on Sunday, April 23. This announcement comes shortly after allegations of sexual harassment were corroborated by Comcast.
Shell, who worked at Comcast for 19 years, apologized for his “inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company,” and said that he was “truly sorry” for letting down his colleagues.
The brief statement initially did not specify who the woman was and neither Comcast nor NBCUniversal responded to requests for comment.
Reports eventually identified the woman as Hadley Gamble, a CNBC anchor and international correspondent.
“The investigation into Mr. Shell arose from a complaint by my client of sexual harassment and sex discrimination,” said Suzanne McKie, a managing partner of Farore Law and attorney for Gamble, in a statement provided by NPR.
“Given these circumstances, it is very disappointing that my client’s name has been released and her privacy violated,” she added.
No successor has been named to replace Shell, but in the meantime, Comcast President Mike Cavanaugh will assume Shell’s duties, said a person close to the matter. Shell, as well as other leaders, have already been reporting to Cavanaugh for some time and he knows the business well, the person said.
“We are disappointed to share this news with you. 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. When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move quickly to take appropriate action, as we have done here,” Cavanagh and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a separate statement Sunday.
One of Shell’s earliest roles was as president of Comcast’s programming group, where he managed national and regional TV networks, including E! He had also previously served as chairman of NBCUniversal International, and later was chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group from 2013 to 2019.