Hozefa Lokhandwala is stepping down as co-chief of the embattled Vice Media Group, with Bruce Dixon remaining as sole CEO.
The outgoing exec revealed that he would be leaving to start a “new endeavor” in a memo to staff yesterday.
Lokhandwala’s resignation comes six months since Vice’s $350m sale to former lenders Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital first emerged, following the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June.
Last month, Vice announced another 100 staff were to be let go, following the cancellation of its Vice On Showtime and Vice News Tonight shows, and after a previous round of lay-offs in April. The company had been looking for a buyer for more than a year as advertising shifts and declining audiences hit its profitability.
The group is home to UK-based Gangs Of London producer Pulse Films, as well as the Vice TV network, the Vice Studios film & TV unit, a distribution arm, Refinery29, agency Carrot Creative and fashion title i-D.
Lokhandwala served as chief strategy officer at Vice from October 2018 until February this year when he and Dixon were named co-CEOs to replace former chief Nancy Dubuc. Before Vice, he was at JP Morgan.
In his memo, Lokhandwala wrote: “It’s been an incredible journey together, but today I am writing to you all to let you know that I have made the decision to leave Vice and my role as co-CEO of the company.
“I didn’t come to this decision easily. As many of you know I live and breathe the brand, love the content we make and feel incredibly close to all the teams that make all of this possible, but I decided that it’s time for me to start on my next chapter.
“We are at a moment in time where the company is in a place with strong leadership and a new board, that I felt I could take this opportunity to leave and spend some time with my family and friends, before starting a new endeavor.”
In a follow-up memo, Dixon wrote to staff that: “This is a tough day for me and I’m sure for many of you. Hozefa has been an inspiring partner, colleague and friend to many of us. He has been a source of tremendous support and a powerful advocate for change as we have done the difficult work of reshaping VMG, transitioning to a new ownership structure and putting the company on a new path for success.
“Change, though challenging, provides an opportunity for growth and renewal. I’m confident that, as a united team, we will continue to deftly navigate these transitions.”