Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell Forfeits $43 Million In 2022 Pay After Being Fired For Cause

Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell Forfeits $43 Million In 2022 Pay After Being Fired For Cause

April 28, 2023

Jeff Shell, the ousted CEO of NBCUniversal, forfeited compensation valued at $43 million for 2022 after being fired for cause last Sunday.

“As previously disclosed, Mr. Shell’s employment was terminated with cause on April 23, 2023. As a result, he did not receive any supplemental payments or benefits in connection with his termination. He will receive only his accrued but unpaid base salary and vacation time, vested employee benefits and reimbursement for any unreimbursed business expenses in accordance with his employment agreement. Upon his termination, all unvested PSUs and RSUs and all vested and unvested stock options, which had an estimated fair value of $43.3 million as of the termination date, were forfeited and canceled,” NBCU parent Comcast said in an SEC filing today.

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Shell’s pay for last year included $2.5 million in base pay — flat from the year before — and a $7.5 million cash bonus that was given out before the events of last week unfolded.

He was let go after an investigation for “inappropriate conduct” and “sexual harassment” of an employee, the company said. Deadline was the first to report, the employee in question is understood to be CNBC anchor and correspondent Hadley Gamble.

The executive compensation in Comcast’s annual proxy statement shows Shell is missing out on 2022 stock and option awards valued at, respectively, $6.6 million and $4.2 million which would have brought him a pay package last year of $21 million. Unvested stock awards — of restricted stock units (RSUs) and performance stock units (PSUs) — granted in previous years are also forfeited.

Shell acquired 71,507 shares upon vesting last year, realizing $3.2 million in value.

The proxy lays out the pay of a company’s top five highest paid executives.

For 2022, chairman-CEO Brian Roberts earned $32 million. That’s a base salary of $2.5 million; stock awards of $13.4 million; options awards for $8.4 million; and a cash bonus of $7.5 million.

Michael Cavanagh, Comcast president and CFO, who is stepping in for Shell, saw compensation of $40.5 million, up from $27 million the year before. He was named to the additional role of president last fall. The newly interim NBCUniversal boss said yesterday on the company’s post-earnings conference call that he’ll be overseeing the entertainment unit “for a while.”

CEO of Comcast Cable, David Watson, saw a pay package of $21.9 million, Sky CEO Dana Strong of $15.2 million.

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