Comcast CEO Brian Roberts kicked off the company’s first-quarter earnings call by acknowledging the abrupt dismissal of NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell last Sunday.
“Let me just acknowledge the news that you all saw earlier this week — obviously a tough moment,” he said of the exec’s ouster amid sexual harassment and discrimination claims. “But we are so fortunate to have the fabulous and tenured leadership team at NBCUniversal. If you go down the list, you’ll see many of them have been leading their divisions within the company for at least 10 years and are truly the best in the business.”
Mike Cavanagh, president of Comcast, has assumed Shell’s duties on an interim basis. Roberts said the company is “lucky” to have Cavanagh in that spot. He was promoted to president just last fall, becoming the only exec to hold the title apart from Roberts and his father, company founder Ralph Roberts.
Cavanagh and CFO Jason Armstrong will lead earnings calls with Wall Street analysts for the foreseeable future, Roberts announced.
Shell had risen through the ranks at the company to become CEO of NBCU in 2020, succeeding Steve Burke. He acknowledged having had an “inappropriate relationship” with a female employee, with the company then emphasizing that it had let Shell go with cause due to complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.
The comments from Roberts followed the release of first-quarter financial results. While revenue slipped 4%, it beat Wall Street expectations, as did earnings per share of 92 cents.