Debra Lee, the longtime executive at BET is stepping down from her position as CEO and chairman of the cable network.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee’s last day at the company will be on Monday, May 28. While her departure from the company is news, Lee turned over day-to-day operations for the Viacom-owned company back in November.
Scott M. Mills will take over as president and Lee is not being replaced.
Lee first joined BET in 1986 as in-house counsel. She was instrumental in building the brand to be featured in more than 60 countries and within 125 million households.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish released this statement about Lee’s resignation.
“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.”
In the report from The Hollywood Reporter, they ended the report with a warning: “more to come…”