Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc Lays Out New Executive Team as Refinery29 Deal Closes

Vice agreed to acquire Refinery29 for $400 million in October

Getty Images

Vice Media on Monday finalized its $400 million deal to acquire Refinery29.

“Today marks Day One of so much to come, and it’s an exciting opportunity to be able to write this chapter together. You’ve undoubtedly all been thinking a lot about the trajectory of the media industry over the last year, as well as our companies and your careers,” Vice Media Group CEO Nancy Dubuc wrote in a letter to staff on Monday.

“We are on a mission, in a sea of formulaic media, to remain genuinely authentic. At both Refinery29 and VICE, our authentic voice has always been our magic elixir. We have built our brands by tackling topics nobody else would, and using language and storytellers that nobody else would,” she continued. “We have forged cultures and communities where you can demonstrate your authenticity by Being You. It’s this creative independence and inspired determination that will carry us into the next decade, and beyond.”

As part of the deal closing, Dubuc laid out her expanded new executive management team for the merged organization.

Refinery29 co-founder Christene Barberich will continue her role as global editor-in-chief of Refinery29 and co-founder Piera Gelardi will continue to shape the brand as Refinery29’s executive creative director.

Vice said Refinery29 will remain a distinct brand with a dedicated team focused on expanding the business and global opportunities for the company.

Amy Emmerich will expand her scope from president of North America to global president and chief content officer of Refinery29, and will report directly to Nancy Dubuc, CEO. Vice said that Emmerich will also partner with Vice leaders to tap into Refinery29’s strengths with its young, highly engaged women’s audience, as well as what Vice deems high-growth businesses led by R29 Originals and the experiential success of 29Rooms.

Kate Ward will take on the new position of president of Vice Studios, overseeing the media company’s feature film and TV production studio as well as leading the Refinery29 Originals team. R29 Originals will continue to collaborate closely with Emmerich and leadership overseeing the Refinery brand.

With a track record that includes the upcoming film “The Report,” Danny Gabai will continue as head of Vice Studios U.S. and report to Ward. Most recently, Ward was president of international for Refinery29.

Reporting to CEO Nancy Dubuc, Hosi Simon will move into the new role of chief operating officer to oversee international operations, shared services including production and  marketing, across Vice’s five lines of business – studios, TV, digital, news and VIRTUE as well as Pulse Productions, i-D and Garage.

Collaborating with global line of business leaders, Simon will lead emerging businesses and special projects. Simon has been with Vice for over 13 years — most recently as CEO of Asia-Pacific and executive managing director of international.

Dubuc also tapped George Rogers to transition to a new role as chief client officer reporting directly to Dominique Delport, who serves as president of international and chief revenue officer. Rogers will oversee partnerships across all lines of our advertising business globally. Rogers previously held the role of chief development officer and board director at Refinery29.

Rounding out Dubuc’s direct reports are: Jesse Angelo, president of global news and entertainment; Thomas Benski, CEO of PULSE Films; Danielle Carrig, chief communications officer; Dominique Delport, president of international and chief revenue officer; Hozefa Lokhandwala, chief strategy officer; Joseph Simon, chief technology officer; Susan Tohyama, chief human resources officer; and Lucinda Treat, chief legal officer.

Refinery29 co-founders and co-CEOs Philippe von Borries and Justin Stefano will step away from day-to-day operations and into advisory roles with the new leadership team.

“We have a tremendous opportunity given all of the exciting changes in our industry, even if those changes sometimes come with angst and agita,” Dubuc wrote in her letter. “We are incredibly grateful to the founders of Refinery29 whose collective passion, vision and dedication to the brand made it such a success. Each will stay on to be part of our new company in distinct ways.”