Vice puts two executives on leave following sexual harassment reports

shane smith

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TechCrunch / Flickr
  • Vice announced that two executives remain on leave following a New York Times report detailing allegations of sexual harassment.
  • The company said in a memo to staff that it was taking allegations of harassment seriously, and hoping to reform a famously raucous workplace culture.

Vice News said two top executives were put on leave following a bombshell New York Times expose detailing a culture of harassment at the popular millennial news outlet.

Last month, The New York Times reported that the company and its employees had settled four sexual harassment suits since 2003.

One woman alleged that Vice president Andrew Creighton paid a $135,000 settlement to a former employee who claimed she was fired after rebuffing his sexual advances during work meetings, a claim the company denied, while multiple women said Mike Germano, the CEO of Carrot, Vice’s creative agency, had made inappropriate comments and, in one instance, pulled an employee onto his lap.

In a memo to staff on Tuesday, COO Sarah Broderick confirmed Germano was on leave, and noted that while a claim against Creighton was found to “lack merit,” he would remain on leave as well pending a recommendation from a newly-formed committee into how to change Vice’s culture.

“It is a new year. And a new year is a time for change – no more so than here at VICE,” Broderick said. “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.”

She detailed a number of changes that the company was undertaking, including hiring a new head of human resources, requiring mandatory sexual harassment training, and forming new councils to encourage inclusion.

The company also reportedly said it was committed to ensuring gender pay parity by the end of the year, and would attempt to make sure that men and women were represented equally across the company by 2020.

Read the full memo below: