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A day after Vox Media terminated editorial director Lockhart Steele for inappropriate conduct, longtime chief executive Jim Bankoff addressed his staff on Friday and said an investigation into allegations is “ongoing” and that the law firm Gibson Dunn is assisting in the investigation.
“While we were able to take swift action … based on what we uncovered so far in the investigation, we’re trying to stress that the investigation is not done,” Bankoff said in the meeting. “There are multiple investigations happening.”
Bankoff also encouraged his staff to be forthright. “It’s important for me to stress that, because there are still people coming forward, and I want to encourage people who have not yet come forward to do so as well. … We want all the information that we can get. It’s important to the company, it’s important to our culture to get that information.”
He thanked “everyone who has come forward” with allegations, and singled out the former employee who wrote on Oct. 12 about misconduct they experienced while working at the company.
Bankoff also promised to take quick and decisive action based on the results of the investigations. “All investigations, including that one, that yield findings of misconduct, I will always act swiftly to protect our employees, our culture, and in doing so, I will protect our company,” he said.
He told his staff that Vox Media has never before settled a harassment claim against the company.
It was also announced that Alexis Juneja, who heads People & Culture for Vox Media, has been recused from the entire Steele process and investigation because she co-founded the Curbed real estate publication with Steele.
“We’re a company that makes mistakes, has imperfections,” Bankoff said, “and one of the things I want us to set us apart is that we learn and we act on mistakes that we make and the imperfections that we have and get better,” he said. “This is something that is extraordinarily serious but also extraordinarily new to us.”
Steele did not respond to a private message from The Hollywood Reporter and has not yet spoken publicly about his departure from the company.
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