Vice Media Names Nancy Dubuc CEO

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Nancy Dubuc during a MediaLink keynote event at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when she was still president and CEO of A&E Networks. She is becoming the new chief of Vice Media.
Nancy Dubuc during a MediaLink keynote event at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when she was still president and CEO  of A&E Networks. She is becoming the new chief of Vice Media. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

After 24 hours of speculation, Vice Media has confirmed that A&E Network's former CEO Nancy Dubuc will become the company's next CEO.

Dubuc takes the reins from founder Shane Smith, who will become executive chairman and focus on strategic deals and content development.

"Why Nancy Dubuc? Simply put, because rarely in business do you get to work in a perfect partnership," Smith said in a statement. "First off, she is better than me at everything. Second, it allows me to…concentrate on the only things that I am good at—content and deals. Thirdly, as we go forward Vice needs a best-in-class management team to harness all of this growth and control our own destiny, whether it be staying independent, strategically partnering with someone or going public."

Smith went on to call Dubuc one of his "best friends and media heroes," referring to the duo as a "modern day Bonnie and Clyde."

Smith has long talked about his desire to step away from day-to-day management and focus more on content and deal-making, as he told the Financial Times in 2015. But the move has actually arrived following recent upheaval. In December, the New York Times reported on several complaints of sexual assault and harassment at Vice as well as a "boys' club" culture at the company. In late January, Vice said Chief Digital Officer Mike Germano, who had been on leave during an internal investigation after he was named in the Times story, would not be returning. The company's president, Andrew Creighton, who was also named in the story, has been under investigation for roughly two months.

Vice and Vogue last month put a fledgling content collaboration on ice for now, and Ally Financial earlier said it had "paused" its consideration of Vice for future project work.

Dubuc joins Vice from A&E, where on Monday she stepped down as CEO, a role she had held since 2013. She had spent more than two decades at the company, whose networks include History and Lifetime, among others.

Vice will be hosting a town hall in Brooklyn on Friday to introduce Dubuc to staff.

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