The longtime president and publisher of The Fader, Andy Cohn, has left his post after 16 years, following an investigation into his alleged misconduct. Cohn’s position as president and publisher was suspended earlier this month, after former Fader Editior-In-Chief Eric Sundermann was fired from his post following several sexual misconduct allegations.
“We acknowledge that structural change also requires new leadership. Together with Andy Cohn, we have agreed it is time for a change. After 16 years, Andy will be leaving The Fader,” a letter signed by signed by Co-CEOs Jon Cohen and Rob Stone, reads. “We are proud of what we have built together and we are very grateful for all of his contributions in helping us grow The Fader during this time. As we work to determine the best path forward for our executive team, we will be taking a more active role in the management and operations of The Fader.”
A report from Jezebel quoted sources as saying that Cohn and others at The Fader were aware of Sundermann’s alleged behavior prior to his hiring, and suggested that Cohn behaved inappropriately during a 2011 company event. The publication initially denied that they were investigating Cohn for “enabling Eric and looking the other way,” according to Variety.
Another Jezebel report alleged that Sundermann had groped, sexually coerced and even assaulted female colleagues during his time as the head of Vice’s former music site Noisey (which is now simply Vice Music), and during his tenure at the Fader. The publications also alleged that The Fader’s company cunture had “prioritized loose boundaries between coworkers, and provided little recourse for employees,” in terms of HR support.
The Fader has stated that they are “improving our internal HR function by dedicating more resources to it and doing a better job of encouraging employees to take advantage of the assistance HR can offer with all aspects of their jobs… ensuring everyone understands the process for reporting concerns or complaints… engaging an outside consultant to help us improve our hiring process, including the vetting of employees prior to hiring … vastly improving our review process … providing mandatory diversity and inclusion training … [and] reviewing other company policies to determine whether any other changes should be made.”
Read excerpts from the letter below:
“We recognize that some of you are traveling for the holiday but wanted to update you in real time about the results from the independent investigation we commissioned into workplace culture, following recent allegations of misconduct.
“The Fader aspires to be the most welcoming place in the industry for creative minds to share their talents with the world. Achieving this means holding ourselves accountable when we fall short — and implementing and improving processes, policies, and procedures that ensure prompt reporting of any potential issues and promote inclusivity.
“The independent investigators conducted interviews with both current employees and former employees and reviewed internal emails and other documents. In short, we have determined we need to make some real changes in how this company runs in order to achieve our goals.
“We acknowledge that structural change also requires new leadership. Together with Andy Cohn, we have agreed it is time for a change. After 16 years, Andy will be leaving The Fader. We are proud of what we have built together and we are very grateful for all of his contributions in helping us grow The Fader during this time. As we work to determine the best path forward for our executive team, we will be taking a more active role in the management and operations of The Fader.”