Nancy Dubuc is stepping down as president and CEO of A+E Networks, effective April 16.
Abbe Raven, chair emeritus and former CEO of A+E Networks, will return as acting chair to oversee the transition until a replacement is named. Raven had retired in 2015 after 33 years with the company.
“Anyone who knows me well knows I am an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart. I have a famous neon sign in my office that blares ‘Who dares wins,’” said Dubuc in a statement. “After 20 years at A+E, the hardest thing will be to leave the people and company I love. But, as a creative executive and leader, and to stay true to my personal mantra, I need my next dare and my next challenge.”
Dubuc is rumored to be in talks to take the chief executive job at embattled youth-focused media company Vice Media, which would see her replace co-founder Shane Smith, as first reported by Variety. Representatives at A+E Networks and Vice Media declined to comment on her next possible moves.
The exec had been in the running for the top job at Amazon Studios. She reportedly took herself out of the running for the position. Former NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke was appointed to the post in early February.
Dubuc, who became A+E’s third CEO in the company’s 30-year history in June 2013, oversaw the A+E brand portfolio, including A&E, Lifetime, History, FYI, Lifetime Movies and Viceland. She is also responsible for managing digital content and distribution, A+E Studios, A+E Networks International, A&E Indie Films and 45th & Dean.
In October 2015, Dubuc oversaw the joint venture agreement with Vice Media that launched fledgling broadcast channel Viceland in February 2016 and led to a 20% stake in Vice Media Holdings, of which she is a member of its board.
Dubuc also created strategic investment division A+E Ventures, which invested in the launch of Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens’ Propagate. Her reach at A+E Networks extended beyond the linear brand, with Dubuc founding in-house digital storytelling hub 45th & Dean in May 2016. The company recently launched Snapchat’s first unscripted series Second Chance and Facebook Watch’s Bae or Bail.
“In her roughly 20 years at A+E Networks, Nancy played a major role in building the success of A&E, History and Lifetime, and we thank her for her leadership. We are also very grateful to Abbe, a former CEO of the company and one of A+E’s first employees, for agreeing to return on a temporary basis as acting chair,” added Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney|ABC Television, in a joint statement.
The entirety of Dubuc’s statement follows below:
“For nearly 20 years, I have called A+E Networks home and the team has been an extended part of my family. Together, we have had the privilege to build some of the most iconic brands in media. Every step of my career, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow from some of the most inspiring and innovative minds at A+E and in both the creative and business community. I could not be prouder of what we achieved together.
“Anyone who knows me well knows I am an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart. I have a famous neon sign in my office that blares ‘Who dares wins.’ After 20 years at A+E, the hardest thing will be to leave the people and company I love. But, as a creative executive and leader, and to stay true to my personal mantra, I need my next dare and my next challenge.
“I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our owners at Hearst and The Walt Disney Company for their unwavering support and belief in me over my long career here. I’d especially like to thank Steve and Ben for supporting my decision to write my next chapter.
“I have supreme confidence in the brave storytellers and management team A+E and I will always be rooting for and watching proudly from the sidelines – even as I head off to my next adventure.”
More to come…