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NBC Universal CEO Departs the Organization Following Reports of an “Inappropriate” Relationship

NBC Universal CEO Departs the Organization Following Reports of an “Inappropriate” Relationship

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell has reportedly come to terms with the company for a mutual exit from his role. The news of Shell’s departure comes on the heels of allegations he had an “inappropriate relationship” with a female employee. Shell was quoted on April 23, 2023, by multiple reports as saying, “[t]oday is my last day as CEO of NBC Universal” and “I’m truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBC Universal colleagues down.” Shell departs NBC following 19 years working with the company, and the organization has begun its damage control after yet another sex-based allegation rocks its tattered reputation.

NBC Has a Historical Culture of Harassment and Inappropriate Behavior

Following the #MeToo era allegations against Matt Lauer with NBC News and multiple allegations of an alleged “culture of sexual harassment” at the company and its related entities, Shell’s departure is just the latest in a long string of sexual harassment-related bad press at NBC Universal that the broader company has been trying to control since at least 2017 when NBC News hired an independent firm to conduct harassment training and peer groups focused on changing the culture. Given Shell was the leader of NBC Universal at the time. The News organization was rocked by scandal. It is disappointing to read that years later, the impact of the #MeToo allegations on the News arm of the company did not have a greater impact on the larger corporate entity.

The latest allegations against NBC Universal reveal greater systemic issues that persist within the organization’s culture. When senior leadership is unwilling to buy into cultural change, issues like those facing Shell and the company are bound to persist. Cultural change starts at the top, with full leadership commitment to the practices espoused in training workshops. This means not just saying you will not tolerate inappropriate behavior but also taking in a diverse chain of thought and including opinions and feedback from all aspects of the organization in your decision-making processes. Failure to do so can lead to a continued revolving door of leadership change and black marks on organizational reputation, as we have seen for the past 6+ years within NBC Universal.

Syntrio Can Help Make Your Workplace Healthy and Productive

Syntrio has made a commitment to partnering with organizations that are committed to maintaining a healthy workplace culture for their employees by offering a wide variety of education and hotline programs aimed at not only providing employees with an avenue to speak up about inappropriate behavior anonymously but also educating them on topics that will have an impact on their personal and professional lives and allow them to grow in a positive and healthy work environment. Suppose your organization is truly committed to maintaining a work environment free of harassment that welcomes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In that case, we welcome you to contact a staff member today to see how we can help you continue making positive organizational changes. Doing so will demonstrate a commitment to your workforce that harassment is not tolerated but also that the organization cares about its employees and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure their physical and mental health and well-being.

Compliance risks can come from every level of your organization

Organizations currently satisfied with their level of ethical behavior may be experiencing a false sense of security.  Mitigate your risk with Syntrio’s comprehensive reporting hotline with 24-hour care. Learn more about why a reporting hotline is a best practice.

Since 2007, Jonathan has practiced labor and employment law on behalf of management. Jonathan focuses his practice on advising employers on the prevention of harassment and discrimination issues, with an emphasis on providing in-person harassment training programs to companies of all sizes. Jonathan is licensed in California, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and maintains a national advice practice.

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