NBCUniversal’s CEO has quit after having an “inappropriate relationship” with a colleague

Jeff Shell, the head of US media giant NBCUniversal, has stepped down following a probe into his misconduct with a female colleague.

NBCUniversal’s CEO has quit after having an “inappropriate relationship” with a colleague

Jeff Shell, head of US media giant NBCUniversal has resigned following an investigation into his misconduct towards a female employee.

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Comcast, the parent company of Shell, announced on Sunday (April 24) that it had "mutually" agreed with Shell to have him leave following an investigation regarding a complaint made about his conduct.

"Today marks my last day in the role of CEO at NBCUniversal. Shell stated in a statement that she had an inappropriate relationship, one which she deeply regretted.

He added: "I am truly sorry that I let down my Comcast and NBCUniversal co-workers. They are the most talented individuals in the industry and having the opportunity to work alongside them for the past 19 years has been a great privilege."

According to a Deadline report, CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble made the complaint against Shell. According to an NBCUniversal e-mail viewed by BBC, senior executives formerly employed by Shell will report to Comcast President Mike Cavanagh up until a successor has been announced.

Shell was appointed CEO of NBCUniversal by 2020. He made a big push to expand the streaming service Peacock. Shell also restructured the management team, removing Andy Lack as news chairman after a turbulent tenure and placing Mark Lazarus in charge of a newly formed TV and streaming division.

NBCUniversal has lost several high-profile executives in the last few years because of issues with misconduct. Matt Lauer was fired in 2017 after a female co-worker accused him of sexual misconduct. In 2020, Vice Chairman Ron Meyer was fired after a scandal broke about his affair with actress Charlotte Kirk.

Shell's resignation comes right before NBCUniversal releases its first quarter earnings on Thursday (April 27). Peacock's performance will be closely monitored, as it continues to trail behind Netflix and Disney+.

Peacock reported that its revenue would nearly triple in 2022, to $2.1 Billion. NBCUniversal estimates that the fourth quarter losses for Peacock's streaming service will reach $3 billion by 2023.

Shell and Comcast's Cavanaugh are optimistic about Peacock's near future turnaround, but the recent leadership changes may shake up the confidence in the service due to the "streaming battles" that continue.

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The story has been updated to include details about the person who filed a complaint against Jeff Shell.