Jeff Shell’s relationship with CNBC reporter probed after NBCU exit
Exclusive: Multiple sources tell Deadline that the woman who filed the inappropriate behavior complaint against NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was CNBC anchor and senior international correspondent Hadley Gamble.
NBCU parent Comcast announced earlier today that Shell is leaving following an investigation by outside counsel; Shell admitted that “I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret.” We’ve reached out to Gamble for comment; No answer yet.
Deadline has learned that Shell had a relationship with Gamble that began about 11 years ago and continued until it ended a few years ago. Shell was president of NBCUniversal International from 2011 to 2013, before becoming president of Universal Filmed Entertainment and finally CEO of NBCU in 2020.
Deadline has learned that the complaint was filed within the last month. The matter reached Comcast President and CEO Brian Roberts through proper channels and it was resolved expeditiously, the sources said. We’ve heard that the outside law firm hired to investigate provided its findings to top Comcast brass within the last week.
Deadline has learned that the investigation revealed conversations between Shell and Gamble through company emails.
In their company memo about Shell’s exit, Roberts and Comcast President Mike Cavanagh indicated that the former NBCU CEO had violated company policy.
“You must trust your leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace,” he wrote. “When our principles and policies are violated, we will always move swiftly to take appropriate action, as we have done here.”
At this time, it is our understanding that Shell is making a quiet exit to spend time with his family.
Shell is being represented by Hollywood heavyweight litigator Patricia Glazer, we hear. A partner named Glazer Weill Fink Howard Avechen & Shapiro LLP did not respond to a request for comment from Deadline.
The deadline for Gamble to file a complaint against Shell also reached NBCuni. A representative for the company told us it has nothing to add other than the brief announcement it released earlier today citing privacy concerns.
In his statement, Schell, who has been married for a long time, also said, “I am truly sorry that I let my colleagues at Comcast and NBCUniversal down, they are some of the most talented people in the business and A pleasure to work with. An opportunity. The last 10 years have been a privilege.
No replacement for Shell has been named at this time. In their memo to employees, Roberts and Cavanagh said that in the interim, Shell’s senior team would report directly to Cavanagh.
The Gamble covers energy, geopolitics and financial markets and anchors The Capital Connection from CNBC’s Middle East headquarters, located within Abu Dhabi Global Markets. She also presented the CNBC documentary Franchise Access: Middle East, where she talks with world leaders, international CEOs and philanthropists. Past guests have included President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, King Abdullah of Jordan, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Gamble was the last Western journalist to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2021 before the war in Ukraine.
Her CNBC bio also reads, “Hadley is a passionate advocate for women in the workplace and their advancement around the world. She moderated the first women’s business forum in Saudi Arabia and provided exclusive content to CNBC since the kingdom The decades-old ban on driving was lifted.”
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