Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell Forfeited $43.3 Million in Compensation

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell at 2021 Allen & Co. conference
Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell (Image credit: Kevin Deitsch/Getty Images)

Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, who was terminated because of an inappropriate relationship with a CNBC anchor, forfeited $43.3 million in compensation as a result of losing his job for cause.

According to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by parent company Comcast, Shell was set to receive $21 million in compensation for 2022.

Shell’s employment with the company was “terminated with cause in April 2023, and as a result, he forfeited the PSUs and stock options granted in 2022, along with all other unvested equity awards and vested stock options,” the filing said.

Shell “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,” the filing said. “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.

Shell had received $22.7 million in 2021, according to the proxy statement. His salary in both years was $2.5 million

Michael Cavanagh, who was promoted to president of Comcast from chief financial officer in October, saw his compensation jump to $30.5 million in 2022 from $27.4 million in 2021. 

Cavanagh’s salary was unchanged at $2.3 million, but his option awards climbed to $21.1 million from $6.3 million.

After Shell was ousted, Cavanagh was put in charge of NBCU, in addition to his president’s job at Comcast.

CEO Brian Roberts’s total compensation fell slightly in 2022 to $32.1 million from $34 million in 2021. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.