Nancy Dubuc, who has stepped down from her role as A+E Networks’ president and CEO, has been tapped as the new CEO of VICE Media, as founder Shane Smith transitions to executive chairman.
Smith said: “Why Nancy Dubuc? Simply put, because rarely in business do you get to work in a perfect partnership. First off, she is better than me at everything. Second, it allows me to move to executive chairman, where I can concentrate on the only things that I am good at—content and deals. Thirdly, as we go forward VICE needs a best-in-class management team to harness all of this growth and control our own destiny, whether it be staying independent, strategically partnering with someone or going public. Lastly, I get to work with one of my best friends and media heroes. We are a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde and we are going to take all your money.”
Dubuc commented: “Shane and the team at VICE have done what all of us aspire to do—build a brand and make content that people really care about. VICE speaks to a generation that defines today’s cultural conversation, and the opportunity to partner with all of the incredibly creative people across the entire company was one of those rare moments in a career. As the next chapter of media is written by founders such as Shane and Suroosh, it’s an honor to join a brand with such tremendous opportunity and I look forward to growing the platform for decades to come.”
At A+E Networks, Abbe Raven, who retired from the company in 2015 after 33 years, is returning as acting chair on April 16 to oversee the transition until a replacement is named.
Dubuc said: “For nearly 20 years, I have called A+E Networks home and the team has been an extended part of my family. Together, we have had the privilege to build some of the most iconic brands in media. Every step of my career, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow from some of the most inspiring and innovative minds at A+E and in both the creative and business community. I could not be prouder of what we achieved together.
“Anyone who knows me well knows I am an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart. I have a famous neon sign in my office that blares ‘Who dares wins.’ After 20 years at A+E, the hardest thing will be to leave the people and company I love. But, as a creative executive and leader, and to stay true to my personal mantra, I need my next dare and my next challenge.
“I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our owners at Hearst and The Walt Disney Company for their unwavering support and belief in me over my long career here. I’d especially like to thank Steve and Ben for supporting my decision to write my next chapter.
“I have supreme confidence in the brave storytellers and management team A+E and I will always be rooting for and watching proudly from the sidelines—even as I head off to my next adventure.”
Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television, said: “In her roughly 20 years at A+E Networks, Nancy played a major role in building the success of A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime, and we thank her for her leadership. We are also very grateful to Abbe, a former CEO of the company and one of A+E’s first employees, for agreeing to return on a temporary basis as acting chair.”
Raven commented: “Nancy and I have worked together for almost 20 years and I have seen the tremendous accomplishments and innovation she has brought to A+E—from its creative content to attracting award-winning talent and the digital and studio businesses she has nurtured. A+E is a special place with extraordinary and talented people. I look forward to helping the board and leading the talented A+E teams during this transition.”