Vice’s CEO is leaving the company as unpaid bills pile up and private frustrations of investors spill out into public view.
In an email on Friday morning obtained by Semafor, Nancy Dubuc acknowledged the difficult position the millennial-focused media company has been in over the past several years, saying the company “racked up incredible wins while tackling unprecedented macroeconomic headwinds caused by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the economy all which forced us to pivot, refocus, and pivot again.”
“Today Vice has an incredible opportunity in the hands of a new management team who are looking to harness the businesses we built and grew and to lay the groundwork for the future,” she said.
Vice has been stuck in a type of sale purgatory for years. In 2021, the company abandoned its year-long plan to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, while talks with potential buyers, primarily the Greek company Antenna, have stalled.
Investors and vendors have grown increasingly impatient with the company’s inability to find a buyer. As Semafor first reported in our Sunday media newsletter, vendors have griped repeatedly that the company has not paid its bills in months. The Wall Street Journal reported that some have grown so desperate that they’ve used debt collection services to force the media company to pay up.
Earlier this month, Vice secured a $30 million loan from Fortress, one of its investors, in part as a way to keep the company afloat as it continues to seek a potential buyer.