Debra Lee Stepping Down as BET CEO
Debra Lee is throwing up the deuces. According to reports, she is stepping down from her post as CEO and chairman at the Viacom-owned cable network. Her last day will be Monday, May 28th. The news comes after Lee ceded day-to-day oversight of the African-American-focused cable network in November, with Scott M. Mills taking over as president. Reportedly, she is not being replaced.
Lee first joined BET in 1986 as its first in-house counsel. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement announcing the news,
Debra’s vision and creativity have cemented BET Networks as a premier network for African Americans and lovers of black culture. As BET continues to move forward, we will always be grateful to Debra for her leadership and commitment to creating top-notch entertainment that both entertains and empowers. Her passion for the BET brand has resulted in countless wins and has allowed BET to stay competitive in a growing media landscape. While we will all miss Debra tremendously, we respect her decision and understand her desire to leave at the very top of the game with a legacy of significant contributions that spans decades. I have seen first-hand how the network has grown under her direction, and I know that she will bring that same innovative thinking and strategic vision to her future pursuits. Debra has groomed an amazing group of senior executives, and I am confident that BET Networks will continue to flourish under their leadership.
Lee has yet to release a statement about her departure.