Essence CEO to step down amid sexual harassment, workplace bullying allegations

Essence CEO to step down amid sexual harassment, workplace bullying allegations

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Essence Communications says it will hire an outside team to investigate allegations made against the company's leadership team in an anonymous blog post.

Owner and CEO of Essence Ventures Richelieu Dennis will step down.

Essence Chief Growth Officer Caroline Wanga will serve as interim CEO of Essence Communications.

The change comes after a post written by a black female anonymous alleges company executives suppressed black women working in the company.

They say many of them endured pay inequity, sexual harassment, workplace bullying and intimidation.

A petition on change.org calls for advertisers to stop investing in the company.

So far, more than 1,300 people signed the petition.

Since then, Essence wrote on its website the allegations are unfounded attempts to discredit it’s brand and assassinate personal character.

In a press release, Essence says it reiterates its commitment to black women, our communities and our employees.

That commitment has been continually evidenced not just by our words, but by our actions fighting for, celebrating, and investing in our community and each other over decades.

This weekend, Essence will hold it’s second weekend of Essence Fest online.

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