April 2, 2023


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Nancy Dubuque has resigned as vice media CEO

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Nancy Dubuc announced in a memo to employees of Vice Media Group on Friday that she is leaving as CEO of the media company, which has been trying to find a buyer for the past year.

Dubuc, who was previously CEO of A+E Networks and spent nearly 20 years at the cable programmer, was hired as Vice Media’s chief executive in March 2018. He takes over for company co-founder Shane Smith, who transitions to a new role as executive chairman. During her tenure as CEO of Vice Media, Dubuque had to contend with declining revenue and related cost-cutting measures, as well as the fallout from sexual-harassment scandals and allegations of gender pay disparity at the Brooklyn-based company.

“It’s been an exciting five years since joining you at Vice, and I’m incredibly proud of the important and lasting achievements we’ve made together,” Dubuque wrote in his farewell email. “[A]As the anniversary of my tenure approaches, it is so difficult to share that I have decided to move on to the next chapter.” (Read the full memo below.)

When asked for additional information, a Vice media representative provided a statement from the company’s board of directors: “Nancy joins Vice at an important time and builds an exceptional team that positions the company for long-term success. We thank Nancy for her many contributions and will soon announce new leadership to guide Vice through its next phase of growth and transformation.”

Dubuc’s departure comes as Vice Media actively tries to sell itself. The company was in acquisition talks with Greek broadcaster Antena, with Vice Media seeking a deal worth about $1.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported — about one-quarter of Vice’s $5.7 billion valuation in 2017.

Vice Media’s investors include Disney, TPG, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, Rain Group and WPP. The cash-strapped company has secured a $30 million loan from Fortress Investment Group to pay off bills totaling “millions of dollars” to vendors and advisers, some unpaid for more than six months, the Journal reported last week.

Smith had previously led Vice since launching a punk-scene print magazine in Montreal in 1994.

The five main business units of Vice Media Group are: Vice.com, the Vice Studio film and TV production unit; Vice TV Television Network; Vice News; and creative agency Virtue. The company’s portfolio also includes Refinery29, a media and entertainment brand focused on achieving women in 2019; London-based Pulse Films; and ID, a digital and print style publication covering fashion, culture and design.

Read Dubuc’s memo to employees:

Dear Vice Media Group Team,

I am writing today with bittersweet news. It’s been an exciting five years since I joined you at Vice, and I’m incredibly proud of the important and lasting achievements we’ve made together. We have transformed this company from a disparate brand to a fully formed, diversified media company that hosts a collection of some of the most recognizable consumer brands along with a rich news organization. Your commitment to excellence, progress and ethics is unmatched and the relationships we have built are eternal. Which is why it’s so hard to share as my term anniversary approaches that I’ve decided to move on to the next chapter.

I am proud to leave a vice better than the one I joined. Together we have achieved incredible victories while dealing with unprecedented macroeconomic headwinds caused by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and an economy that has forced us to pivot, refocus, and pivot again. Despite all this the brands Vice, Vice Studio, Pulse, as well as Virtue, R29, iD and Unbothered are strong. We cut overhead in half and yet improved our revenue quality through both increased profitability and increased returning revenue. Vice is now less ad-dependent as we face new headwinds in the marketplace, and our gross margins have more than doubled.

Most importantly, while there is still much work to be done, Vice is a more diverse and inclusive environment than ever.

Today Vice has an incredible opportunity with a new management team looking to leverage our built and growing businesses and lay the foundations for the future. I know you are the most resilient, creative and determined in the business and your future is bright and optimistic.

Remember what I’m trying to remind you of, and that is to realize how far you’ve come. Accomplishments are far-reaching — from new businesses, to completely rebuilt operations and numerous awards for bravery. But also remember to look at the possibilities.

I would like to thank Shane and Suresh for their trust and the many board members and investors along the way. I will be cheering you on from the side-lines.

Left foot, right foot.


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