The Chief Executive Officer’s of some of Hollywood’s biggest studios are not having a good time. Unfortunately (for them) they have done it to themselves. Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek was ousted Nov her after Disney’s board lost confidence in his ability to lead. Now the CEO of NBCUniversal, Jeff Shell, has been fired.
After a misconduct investigation where he was found guilty, Shell said the reason he has left the company was “an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work”. In a statement he said, “I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in his own statement. “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.”
There has been no replacement announced for Shell at this time. In a memo to staff, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that Shell’s direct reports will report to Comcast president Mike Cavanagh for the time being. Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal.
Roberts memo went on to condemn Shell’s actions citing that they strive for a culture of integrity. “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,” the memo adds. “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.”
The removal of Jeff Shell comes during a high point for the company. The Super Mario Bros. Movie grossed nearly $870 million at the global box office in its first three weeks making it one of the highest earning animated films in history. Shell should have been sitting on top of the world but instead is walking away disgraced.
Executives within NCBUniversal are reported to be shocked and trying to wrap their heads around the incident. We’re dealing with this in real-time,” says one exec. “Absolutely reeling,” says another Universal insider. The Hollywood Reporter says, “Internally, many considered him to be straightforward, deeply involved and supportive of the various businesses and leadership teams.” There is no word yet on who may replace the ousted CEO.