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Veteran media and TV executive Nancy Dubuc will step down as CEO of Vice Media, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Dubuc informed Vice employees of her decision in a memo Friday morning. Dubuc has led Vice since 2018, when she succeeded Vice co-founder Shane Smith in an effort to professionalize and grow the media company.
“I am proud to leave a Vice better than the one I joined,” Dubuc wrote to staff. “Together we racked up incredible wins while tackling unprecedented macroeconomic headwinds caused by the pandemic, the war in the Ukraine, and the economy all which forced us to pivot, refocus and pivot again.”
Of course, since that time (and as Dubuc noted in her memo), the entire digital media industry has faced intense pressure, with the digital darlings of the era seeing their business prospects diminish. BuzzFeed, which now trades publicly, has seen its share price flounder and news division mostly dismantled, while Group Nine Media sold to Vox Media in a consolidation play. Vox, facing pressured of its own, received an investment from THR owner Penske Media earlier this month.
Vice was no different, and is now looking into strategic alternatives, including a sale (either as a whole or in pieces) or further investment.
A TV executive by trade, Dubuc rose through the ranks at reality and unscripted powerhouse A+E Networks, eventually becoming its CEO, before moving on to Vice.
“Of course, there’s pressure,” she told THR a few months after joining Vice. “Like any good Hollywood story, people look for the Caped Crusader. The reality is never as simple.”
Read Dubuc’s memo below.
Dear Vice Media Group Team,
I am writing today with bittersweet news. It’s been an exhilarating five years since joining you at Vice, and I am incredibly proud of the important and long-lasting accomplishments we have made together. We have transformed this Company from a disparate brand to a fully formed, diversified media company complete with a thriving news organization hosting a collection of some of the most recognizable consumer brands. Your commitment to excellence, progress and ethics is unparalleled and the relationships we have built are everlasting. Which is why as the anniversary of my tenure approaches, it is so difficult to share that I have made the decision to move onto the next chapter.
I am proud to leave a Vice better than the one I joined. Together we racked up incredible wins while tackling unprecedented macroeconomic headwinds caused by the pandemic, the war in the Ukraine, and the economy all which forced us to pivot, refocus and pivot again. Despite all this the Vice, Vice Studios, Pulse, as well as Virtue, R29, i-D and Unbothered brands are strong. We reduced overhead by half and yet improved the quality of our revenues through both increased profitability and growth of returning revenues. As we face new headwinds in the marketplace Vice is now less ad dependent, and our gross margins have more than doubled.
Most important, while there’s still much work to be done, Vice is a more diverse and inclusive environment than ever.
Today Vice has an incredible opportunity in the hands of a new management team who are looking to harness the businesses we built and grew and to lay the groundwork for the future. I know you are among the most resilient, creative, and determined talent in the business and your futures are bright and hopeful.
Remember what I try to remind you, and that is to appreciate how far you’ve come. The accomplishments are far and wide— from new businesses, completely rebuilt operations and countless awards for brave work. But also remember to look ahead to the possibilities.
I’d also like to thank Shane and Suroosh for their trust and the many board members and investors along the way. I will cheer you from the side-lines.
Left foot, right foot.
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