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Jeff Shell, C.E.O. of NBCUniversal, Steps Down After Inquiry

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Jeff Shell, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, is leaving the company after an investigation into 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.”

“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.”

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

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

“We are disappointed to share this news with you,” Mr. Roberts wrote. “We built this company on a culture of integrity. Nothing is more important than how we treat each other.”

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, D.C., and working on other matters. Mr. Shell was also scheduled to attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., with his wife next Saturday.

The investigation, conducted by an outside law firm, was not widely known throughout Comcast until its conclusion, according to three people familiar with the matter. Mr. Roberts and Mr. Cavanagh called executives who directly work with Mr. Shell this weekend to tell them Mr. Shell was leaving and to brief them on the abrupt leadership transition.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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