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NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell steps down after inquiry

Jeff Shell, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, is leaving the company after an investigation into a complaint about an inappropriate workplace relationship, the company’s owner, Comcast, said in a statement on Sunday.

In the statement, Mr. Shell said that Sunday would be his last day and that he had had “an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company.”

Comcast’s terse statement did not say who would be replacing Mr. Shell at NBCUniversal, which he has led since 2020.

But in a note to employees on Sunday, Comcast’s chief executive, Brian Roberts, said that Mr. Shell’s senior team would report to Michael Cavanagh, Comcast’s president, putting Mr. Cavanagh in effective control of NBCUniversal.

News of Mr. Shell’s exit from NBCUniversal sent texts whizzing across New York and Hollywood, where he commanded Comcast’s sprawling entertainment empire. His departure comes at a pivotal time for Comcast, which is navigating the tricky transition from the traditional TV and cable businesses to a future anchored by streaming video, broadband internet and wireless services.

The inquiry into Mr. Shell began in recent weeks after the woman involved in the relationship came forward with a complaint, according to two people familiar with the timeline of the investigation. Mr. Shell continued in his duties while the investigation proceeded, taking previously scheduled meetings with lawmakers in Washington and working on other matters. Mr. Shell was also scheduled to attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington with his wife next Saturday. New York Times

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