Millennial-focused brand Vice Media has suspended two senior executives following a report from The New York Times which detailed allegations of sexual misconduct within the organization.
Vice has placed president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano on leave, according to a memo to staff written by COO/CFO Sarah Broderick and obtained by realscreen.
“It is a new year. And a new year is a time for change – no more so than here at Vice,” wrote Broderick. “I wanted to reach out on the first day back from the holidays to make sure there are no misunderstandings about the way in which we are moving forward to change our workplace culture and ensure all our employees feel respected and supported.”
According to the NYT article, which was published on Dec. 23, 2017, several women at Vice have experienced or witnessed acts of sexual misconduct. It also reported that Creighton brokered a financial settlement with a former employee who claimed she had been fired after rejecting an intimate relationship with the exec.
The memo noted that the claim against Creighton was reviewed by an independent law firm and was found to “to lack merit.” However, according to the memo, the company agreed to settle the matter to avoid the costly and distracting nature of litigation. Vice said there were details in the Times story that it believed were “incomplete or misrepresented.”
A special committee of Vice’s board is reviewing the facts and will make a recommendation to senior management prior to the company’s Jan. 11 board meeting.
Meanwhile, Creighton will remain out of the office on leave until the committee’s recommendation is made.
Germano founded digital agency Carrot Creative, which was acquired by Vice in 2013. He was also named in the Times piece regarding two allegations of sexual harassment, and will be investigated by HR and an external investigator. He will be on leave until the investigation is concluded.