John Legend Joins Vox Media's Board of Directors (Exclusive)

John Legend - Publicity - H 2020
Yu Tsai

"He embodies many of our company values," says Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff.

Musician John Legend is joining the board of directors at Vox Media.

Legend will serve as an independent director alongside former Yahoo executive Susan Decker and Wasserman CEO Casey Wasserman. "He embodies many of our company values, whether it's creativity, being a strong entrepreneur or having a shared sense of ambition and focus on quality work," Vox Media chairman and CEO Jim Bankoff says of Legend.

Legend brings a deep knowledge of the entertainment industry, which could prove valuable for the publisher as it invests in video and audio storytelling through Vox Media Studios, which has produced TV shows including Netflix docuseries Explained and Apple TV+ anthology series Little America. That business, says Bankoff, "involves working with top-tier talent and understanding what drives talent and [how to establish] the best possible environment for creativity and creative people. We were looking for a board member who really understood those dynamics and who brought that perspective, as well." 

In addition to his entertainment career, for which he is an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony winner, Legend's credentials include a degree from the University of Pennsylvania, experience at Boston Consulting Group and nonprofit work focused on education and the criminal justice system. He also serves on the board of directors for Harlem Village Academies and Management Leadership Tomorrow and on the advisory board for the University of Pennsylvania Law School's The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice and Teach for All. 

"I'm excited to join Vox Media's board," Legend said in a statement. "Vox Media is an innovative company creating content that shapes the conversation about so many of the most important things happening in the world. I've been a fan of so much of their work over the years. I'm excited to learn more from the talented board and contribute whatever I can to influence the future of this growing company."

Vox Media, which had 106 million unique visitors in December per Comscore, already is in business with Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigen, whose Suit & Thai Productions is producing a slate of original food programming for Hulu with Vox Media Studios and David Chang's Majordomo Media. "We're lucky to be working with them both," Bankoff says, adding that Vox Media considers them separate and independent relationships. 

In addition to its independent directors, Vox Media's 8-person board includes directors who represent the company's investors. The company has raised more than $300 million from investors including NBCUniversal, General Atlantic and Accel. Pam Wasserstein also joined the board after Vox Media acquired New York magazine in 2019.