Janet Rollé, general manager of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, is joining BuzzFeed’s board — the first woman and the first person of color to serve as a director on the company’s board.
At the same time, Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon, who has been a BuzzFeed board member since 2014, is stepping down from the post. BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti announced the changes to the board membership in a memo to staff Thursday.
BuzzFeed did not disclose whether Rollé is investing in the company or receiving an equity stake. The announcement of her board appointment comes two weeks after BuzzFeed entered into a deal to buy HuffPost from Verizon Media.
“The common thread through Janet’s dynamic career is the ability to nurture and evolve great brands and to build and strengthen their relationships with diverse audiences,” Peretti wrote in the memo. “Janet joins our board at a time when that is critically important for BuzzFeed, especially as we welcome HuffPost into the BuzzFeed network. Janet’s experience in brand management and news media will be incredibly valuable.”
The other directors on BuzzFeed’s board are execs from its investor base: Hearst Ventures’ Scott English, RRE Ventures’ William Porteous and New Enterprise Associates’ Patrick Kerins. General Atlantic’s Anton Levy and Maggie Suniewick, president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, serve as board observers.
At Parkwood, Rollé leads the media and management company’s business operations and development, including strategic partnerships and investments. She manages P&L across the whole company, including music, film, touring and artist management.
Before joining Parkwood in 2016, Rollé served as EVP and CMO for CNN Worldwide, overseeing the promotion of all CNN brands and programming. Prior to that she was BET Networks’ first EVP and CMO, and she has served in senior positions at AOL, VH1 and HBO.
In a statement, Rollé said, “I’m honored to join the board of directors at BuzzFeed, a company I admire both for its innovation and deep audience connection. BuzzFeed isn’t just a pioneer in the digital media industry, it’s an example of how companies can and should raise the voices of the next generation and consistently adapt to stay ahead of the curve.”
Rollé also currently serves as a director of Carver Bancorp, one of the oldest and largest African-American managed banks in the U.S. In addition, she spent two terms on the nominating committee of the United States Tennis Association.