Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell in Talks to Join RedBird Capital Partners

The executive was fired from NBCU in April after admitting to participating in an “inappropriate relationship” with a CNBC anchor

Jeff Shell
Getty Images

Jeff Shell, the former CEO of NBUniversal, is in advanced conversations to join private equity firm Redbird Capital Partners, a RedBird Capital Partners spokesperson tells TheWrap. The executive, who was fired from from his C-suite role with NBCU after admitting to having an “inappropriate relationship” with a CNBC anchor is slated to oversee RedBird’s sports and entertainment investment sector.

Shell has had a longstanding relationship with RedBird’s founder and managing partner, Gerry Cardinale, for at least 20 years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Shell assisted the company as an unofficial consultant prior to chopping it up with the firm about serving in the new role.

RedBird — which has investments in entities including the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-founded Artists Equity — also has partnerships with major sports leagues, including the NFL, as well as stakes in the regional sports network Yes and entertainment company Skydance Media.

Shell’s time with NBCU ended back in April after complaints spotlighting inappropriate workplace conduct led to an investigation that revealed Shell had an “inappropriate relationship” with a female staff member. After his departure, Comcast president Mike Cavanaugh took over Shell’s duties.

“Today is my last day as CEO of NBCUniversal,” Shell wrote in a memo to staff at the time. “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.”

“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,” said Cavanagh and Comcast Chairman/CEO Brian Roberts in a separate memo. “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.”

Following the initial announcement, it was first reported by Deadline that the employee involved was CNBC anchor and senior international correspondent Hadley Gamble. Shell’s relationship with her reportedly started about 11 years ago and lasted until a couple of years ago. Before becoming CEO of NBCUniversal, Shell was chairman of NBCUniversal International from 2011 to 2013.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Shell was accused of sexual assault. He was accused of sexual harassment. TheWrap regrets the error.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.