Abbe Raven, chairman emeritus and former CEO of A+E Networks, who retired from the company in 2015 after 33 years, will return as acting chair to oversee the transition until a replacement is named.
Meanwhile, Vice founder Shane Smith has announced Nancy Dubuc as new CEO, while moving to Executive Chairman himself.
“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,” according to Smith ain a statement. “We are a modern day Bonnie and Clyde and we are going to take all your money.”
Incoming Vice CEO Dubuc said: “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 honour to join a brand with such tremendous opportunity and I look forward to growing the platform for decades to come.”
Earlier this year, Dubuc has pulled herself out of contention for the top job at Amazon Studios. Sources said Amazon had been in negotiations with Dubuc but the executive became weary of the extended interviewing process and decided to withdraw from consideration.
In a joint statement, Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Ben Sherwood, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC Television, said about Dubuc leaving A+E: “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.”
“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,” said Nancy Dubuc.
“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.”
“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,” said Abbe Raven.
” 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.”