Vice Digital Chief Exits After Suspension Over Harassment Claim

Mike Germano - 2016 Ad Week Day 3 - Getty - H 2018
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Mike Germano has been on leave since early January, when accusations of improper conduct were reported.

Vice Media chief digital officer Mike Germano, who has been on leave since early January, has left the company, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday to The Hollywood Reporter.

Germano and Vice Media president Andrew Creighton were put on leave following a late December New York Times exposé on the company's corporate culture. Vice said at the time that an outside investigator would work with the company's human resources department to probe allegations of misconduct lodged against Germano.

A spokesman for Vice said the company declined comment on the terms of Germano's departure, but confirmed that Creighton remains under investigation.

"Two women told the Times about episodes involving Mike Germano, Vice’s chief digital officer who founded Carrot Creative, the digital ad agency that Vice acquired in 2013," according to the December report. "Amanda Rue, a former strategist, said that at Carrot’s holiday party in 2012, Mr. Germano told her that he hadn’t wanted to hire her because he wanted to have sex with her. Gabrielle Schaefer, who worked closely with Mr. Germano as director of communications at Carrot, said he made her feel uncomfortable during a work event at a bar one night in 2014 when he pulled her onto his lap."

Germano, at the time, said that his conduct toward Schaefer was "inappropriate," and that it was "resolved with the help of HR."

In late November, Vice told employees that three staffers were terminated for behavior ranging from "verbal and sexual harassment to other behavior that is inconsistent with our policies, our values, and the way in which we believe colleagues should work together."

TheWrap first reported the exit.