Vice places two executives on leave following sexual harassment allegations

The president of Vice Media and the company’s chief digital officer have both been placed on leave after sexual harassment allegations were levelled against them in a New York Times investigation.

Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano will remain on leave until investigations into the accusations against them have been completed.

The move follows a New York Times report that uncovered four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees. More than two dozen other women also said they had experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct at the company.

Creighton and Germano are the only two employees accused in The New York Times article still working at Vice.

Sarah Broderick, Vice’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said in a memo to the company’s employees this week that a special committee of the company’s board was “reviewing the facts” related to a $135,000 settlement Creighton had reached with a former employee in 2016.

Broderick said the committee plans to make a recommendation regarding the matter to senior management before the company’s 11 January board meeting. Investigations by the company’s human resources department and an outside investigator into claims against Germano are ongoing.

Broderick added that “changing an organisation takes time and doesn’t happen over night”, with Vice rolling out a series of initiatives designed to “ensure all our employees feel respected and supported”. Those initiatives have included the hiring of Susan Tohyama as chief human resources officer.

Since her appointment in November last year Tohyama has fired three employees for behaviour ranging from “verbal and sexual harassment to other behaviour that is inconsistent with our policies, our values, and the way in which we believe colleagues should work together”.

Vice, which has grown from an independent magazine launched in Canada in 1994 into a global media company, has seen its reputation badly damaged by The New York Times revelations at a time when it is increasing its global footprint.

It recently announced plans to open a new Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore and launched operations in the Middle East at the tail end of last year.

As part of its Asia-Pacific expansion, the company’s global general manager Hosi Simon is to relocate to Singapore to oversee the region as APAC chief executive officer, while Nilesh Zaveri has been appointed chief operating and financial officer. The office is expected to be fully operational this month.


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