A day after her departure from A+E Networks as president and CEO was made public, Nancy Dubuc has been confirmed as the CEO of Vice Media.
Dubuc replaces Vice co-founder Shane Smith, who will move into the role of executive chairman.
“Why Nancy Dubuc? Simply put, because rarely in business do you get to work in a perfect partnership,” said Smith in a statement. “First off, she is better than me at everything. Second, it allows me to move to Executive Chairman, where I can 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,” he added. “Lastly, I get to work with one of my best friends and media heroes. We are a modern day Bonnie and Clyde and we are going to take all your money.”
“Shane and the team at Vice have done what all of us aspire to do – build a brand and make content that people really care about,” said Dubuc. “Vice speaks to a generation that defines today’s cultural conversation, and the opportunity to partner with all of the incredibly creative people across the entire company was one of those rare moments in a career. As the next chapter of media is written by founders such as Shane and Suroosh [Alvi], it’s an honor to join a brand with such tremendous opportunity and I look forward to growing the platform for decades to come.”
In October 2015, Dubuc oversaw the joint venture agreement between A+E and Vice Media that launched fledgling cable channel Viceland in February 2016 and led to a 20% stake in Vice Media Holdings, of which she is a member of its board.
Smith elaborated on the decision in a note to staff, which read in part:
“In looking for a professional CEO, we are in need of one who can master; the content world, the digital world, the business world, and who is at the same time an operator extraordinaire. These people are obviously few and far between, but I believe we have found the absolute best in class with Nancy.
“Nancy and I have spent much time deliberating on the best way for us to partner up in a shared mission of maximizing the great potential this company holds. She believes in Vice, she believes in our mission, and she believes in all of you.”
Dubuc takes the CEO role during a challenging time for the maverick millennial media brand. Recent allegations of sexual misconduct brought against individuals within the company resulted in investigations, and in turn, firings, and a New York Times feature painting a picture of a company culture that is problematic for female employees, have taken some of the shine off the disruptor/outsider status the brand has enjoyed for several years.
Meanwhile, Viceland is still in the growing stages. While its U.S. audience has grown year on year, in Canada, Rogers Media and Vice terminated their partnership, meaning Viceland will stop broadcasting via Rogers at the end of the month.