Vice Media announced Tuesday that its chief digital officer, Mike Germano, would not return to the company after the public disclosure of sexual harassment allegations against him prompted an internal investigation into his behavior.
Mr. Germano was placed on leave after a New York Times investigation last month detailed the treatment of women at the company. The article included allegations made by two women against Mr. Germano, including that he told a former employee at a holiday party in 2012 that he had not wanted to hire her because he wanted to have sex with her and that, in 2014, he had pulled an employee onto his lap.
Mr. Germano declined to comment. In an earlier statement, he said he did “not believe that these allegations reflect the company’s culture.”
Mr. Germano was a co-founder of Carrot Creative, the digital ad agency that Vice acquired in 2013. In an email to the staff on Tuesday, Sarah Broderick, Vice’s chief operating officer, said that Vice’s creative ad agency was completing “the long planned integration of Carrot Creative” and that more details regarding the group’s leadership would be announced in the weeks ahead.
A spokesman for Vice said its investigation into Andrew Creighton, the company’s president, was continuing. Mr. Creighton was also put on leave after the Times investigation, which found that he had reached a $135,000 settlement in 2016 with a former employee who claimed she had been fired after she rejected an intimate relationship with him.
Ms. Broderick said in a memo to the staff this month that a special committee of Vice’s board was “reviewing the facts” related to the settlement and had planned to make a recommendation regarding the matter to senior management before the company’s Jan. 11 board meeting.
The Times’s investigation, published on Dec. 23, found four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees, including Mr. Creighton. In addition, more than two dozen women said they had experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct at the company, including unwanted kisses, groping, lewd remarks and propositions for sex.
Vice got its start in 1994 as a free magazine in Montreal. Over the years it has grown into a global company with roughly 3,000 employees, a television network, a digital footprint and its own film-production company. It has a documentary program on HBO and counts among its investors the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox.
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