Just weeks before Vice declared bankruptcy in May, the millennial media company paid performance bonuses to top-level executives.
The bonuses were part of the annual payouts executives at the company received based on performance in the previous year, according to two people with direct knowledge of the stipends. But the checks were written as the company was gearing up for potential bankruptcy — which means many rank and file staffers and freelancers weren’t paid for work from April and May, and were furious to learn of the bosses’ bonuses.
The company has continued to cut costs in other areas, including eliminating the messaging app Slack. On Thursday, an HR rep sent an email to staff saying that the company will not be able to pay severance this month.
A spokesperson for Vice declined to comment, but the company has previously maintained that despite delays, it intends to pay staff and freelancers for work completed before the bankruptcy.