Two senior executives at Vice Media have been suspended in wake of sexual misconduct allegations brought against them.
The outlet’s president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano were placed on leave this week as the company investigates sexual misconduct claims detailed in a recent New York Times article. The decision was announced Tuesday in a company memo written by Vice’s COO/CFO Sarah Broderick.
“It is a new year. And a new year is a time for change—no more so than here at Vice,” she wrote. “I wanted to reach out on the first day back from the holidays to make sure there are no misunderstandings about the way in which we are moving forward to change our workplace culture and ensure all our employees feel respected and supported.”
Here's the full memo from Vice COO/CFO Sarah Broderick to staff regarding workplace culture changes and investigations into higher-ups accused of harassment pic.twitter.com/2vEzATBdwe— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) January 2, 2018
Broderick went on to list a number of company initiatives, including hiring a new head of human resources, implementing mandatory sexual harassment training, and creating new councils to encourage diversity and inclusion. Broderick also announced “Vice has committed to 50/50 male/female at every level across the organization by 2020 and pay parity by the end of 2018.”
On Dec. 23, the Times published a bombshell report in which more than two dozen women spoke about Vice’s toxic workplace culture and the sexual misconduct they experienced. The story pointed to Creighton’s alleged $135,000 settlement with a former employee who claims she was terminated after rejecting his sexual advances. Broderick addressed the settlement in Tuesday’s memo, writing: “the situation was reviewed by an independent law firm and the claim was found to lack merit, but the Company agreed to settle the matter in order to avoid the expense and distraction of litigation.”
Germano, who was hired as Vice’s CDO in 2013, was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. He allegedly pulled a former staffer into his lap at a work event, and told another he did not want to hire her because he wanted to have sex with her.
Broderick wrote Germano will remain out of the office while an outside investigator looks into the misconduct allegations brought against him. Creighton will also be on leave while Vice’s board reviews the facts and makes a recommendation to senior management. The recommendation is expected prior to the Jan. 11 board meeting.