Bellan-White, previously based in the U.K., will work from Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and will report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She starts at the end of October.
With Bellan-White’s appointment, current Vice Media CMO Guy Slattery is leaving the company after nearly five years.
As the youth-media company’s first CMO, Bellan-White will helm the company’s marketing, brand and communications teams internationally across its businesses, which include Vice News, Vice.com, Vice Studios production unit, the Vice TV cable channel, in-house ad agency Virtue, and women-focused brand Refinery29.
The addition of Bellan-White to Vice Media’s senior leadership team comes after Refinery29, acquired a year ago, was roiled by allegations of racial discrimination. R29 co-founder and editor-in-chief Christene Barberich resigned in June after leading the site’s editorial operations for 15 years because of the controversy. Last month, Vice named Simone Oliver, a former Facebook exec and New York Times editor, as Refinery29’s global EIC.
“Quite simply, it doesn’t get better than Nadja,” Dubuc said in announcing Bellan-White’s hire. “Her work in transforming some of the biggest brands on the planet is industry-defining and her ability to find ways to uniquely connect content, audience and commerce globally in the marketplace is unparalleled.”
Bellan-White commented, “I’m hugely excited to be joining the Vice family and to play my part in realizing Nancy’s vision for the business. Vice is one of the most unique brands in media and one I have admired from afar. We have the opportunity to continue to build a brand that embodies the pillars of truth and culture — at a time when it is so important to our audience to tell those stories that reflect their lives.”
Bellan-White most recently was executive partner for WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, where she managed the account for Unilever’s Dove. During her tenure at Ogilvy, she led brand work for clients including American Express, LG Electronics, IKEA North America, Coca-Cola, Siemens and Safaricom/Vodafone. In 2014 she was promoted to CEO of Ogilvy Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, where she managed its business across the continent. Bellan-White also helped develop Ogilvy/WPP Roots, an organization dedicated to driving cultural diversity and inclusion across the company’s European footprint.
Bellan-White earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs and Spanish from the University of Virginia and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Also Friday, Dubuc announced that PR exec Meera Pattni has been promoted to the role of VP, communications for Vice Media Group. Pattni (who will report to Bellan-White) joined the company in 2014 after a career as a journalist and has worked in communications across Vice’s corporate, news, digital and TV divisions internationally.