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Vice president on leave after allegations

Vice Media president Andrew Creighton has been placed on leave as the youth-skewed entertainment and news brand investigates allegations over his behaviour.

Vice_logoVice’s chief digital officer, Mike Germano, has also been put on leave while separate claims over his actions are explored, according to a memo from CFO and COO Sarah Broderick seen by TBI.

This comes after the New York Times pubished an exposé on a ‘boy’s club culture’ at the company, something CEO Shane Smith has since acknowledged is a problem.

Vice’s board is investigating a claim against Creighton, who launched the firm’s UK unit in 2002 and became president in 2011. The company reportedly paid out US$135,000 to a former Vice employee who claims she was fired after rejecting the company president’s advances.

The board will make a decision on Creighton’s future at a meeting on January 11.

“In the meantime, Andrew has suggested, and we agree, that he remain out of the office on leave until the recommendation from the committee is made to Sr. management,” said Broderick in her note.

Germano, who has been with Vice since 2013 when it bought his company Carrot Creative, has had a number of harassment claims leveled at him.

In December, Vice let head of documentary film and vicenews.com editor-in-chief Jason Mojica go after an internal investigation into alleged sexually-charged jokes levelled at a staff member who claimed a Vice producer had sexually harassed her.

Broderick’s memo noted Creighton and Germano were the only two remaining employees named in the NYT article that remain with the business.

Vice has committed to having a 50-50 ration in male to female staff “across the organisation” by 2020, with pay parity achieved by 2018, and there will be mandatory sexual harassment training for staffers and freelancers.

The company has also hired CBS News exec Marsha Cooke to become senior VP of content strategy, a role that will see her leading social consciousness and diversity efforts.

Employee councils have also been launched in Vice offices in the UK and Canada among others.