Comcast’s NBCU fires CEO Jeff Shell for sexual relationship with Hadley Gamble

Comcast revealed that media giant NBCUniversal has fired Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell for sexual harassment after an investigation found evidence that corroborated a complaint from Hadley Gamble, a TV journalist at news channel CNBC.
Jeff Shell and Hadley GambleOn Sunday, Comcast had said that Jeff Shell was leaving the company because of inappropriate conduct. A two-decade veteran of the company, Jeff Shell acknowledged an inappropriate relationship with a woman who worked at Comcast.

Comcast President Mike Cavanagh will take over Shell’s duties for the moment.

Comcast in a regulatory filing on Monday said it hired an outside counsel to investigate a complaint against Jeff Shell and the probe uncovered evidence of sexual harassment.

Jeff Shell will not receive severance pay because he was fired for cause.

Hadley Gamble, an anchor for Comcast-owned news channel CNBC International, filed the complaint, her attorney confirmed.

“Given these circumstances, it is very disappointing that my client’s name has been released and her privacy violated,” attorney Suzanne McKie said in an email.

Jeff Shell took over as CEO of NBC Universal in 2020, replacing Steve Burke. He oversaw the media company’s broad portfolio of businesses, including the Universal film studio and television business, the Peacock streaming service and Universal’s theme parks.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal,” Jeff Shell said. “I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret. 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.”

Hadley Gamble is a CNBC TV anchor and accomplished international correspondent. In her role with the documentary series Access: Middle East, she has interviewed several senior global figures. Notably, she was also the last Western journalist to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin before he invaded Ukraine in early 2022.

Jeff Shell and Hadley Gamble reportedly had a sporadic relationship, which started about 11 years ago and ended a couple of years ago. Deadline reports email communications between the pair came to light during the outside law firm’s investigation.

Jeff Shell was promoted to chief executive in January 2020. He led the business through the disruption of the Covid pandemic and pushed aggressively into streaming to compete with rivals including Disney, Warner Bros and Netflix.

He joined the entertainment division in 2004 from Fox’s cable operations and has previously head up international operations and the film division.

NBCUniversal includes American TV networks such as NBC, USA, Bravo and Syfy, streaming services Peacock and Hayu, minority share in Hulu, theme parks such as Universal Studios and film studio Universal Pictures.