Jeff Shell, the CEO of Comcast's massive entertainment and media division, NBCUniversal, is stepping down immediately, the company announced on Sunday, following an inquiry that found him to have participated in "inappropriate conduct."

Shell had spent 19 years at Comcast. In a brief statement, he apologised for having a "inappropriate relationship with a female employee."

According to Comcast's statement, outside counsel was recruited to handle the inquiry into Shell's behaviour in response to a complaint.

According to a person with information, the employee, who was a subordinate, made the complaint lately, and the corporation acted within days of the complaint.

Comcast has not yet appointed a replacement for Shell, but has declared that NBCU's senior executives would now report directly to Comcast President Mike Cavanagh.

Shell takes over as CEO of NBCU in January 2020, succeeding Steve Burke just weeks before the COVID-19 epidemic decimated the company's income.

He joined Comcast in 2004 from Fox's cable division, where he was the president of worldwide operations before becoming the company's film and entertainment division's chairman.

Sexual misconduct allegations loom huge at NBCUniversal. Vice Chairman Ron Meyer was fired in 2020 after revealing that he had given hush money to an actress with whom he had an affair.

NBC fired Today show presenter Matt Lauer in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him, all of which Lauer denied.

Mr. Shell's shocking exit, at the age of 57, is a complete 180-degree turn for him after a nearly two-decade climb at Comcast. Mr. Shell had steadily advanced through the ranks of the cable company-turned-media conglomerate.