Earlier this week, a scathing expose was penned about the alleged conditions of working at Essence magazine, by a group dubbed Black Female Anonymous, and they demanded that four top execs step down.
Richelieu Dennis who was one of the execs they named resigned as CEO of the publication, on Tuesday, as Page Six reports.
The essay that was published on Medium, claimed that Dennis had a “surface-level commitment to Black women” but that he is actually “driven by greed and a debaucherous sexual appetite.”
The group also alleged that “he has a history of sleeping with women on the Sundial staff [the beauty brand that produces SheaMoisture, and which he sold to Unilever in 2017] … For the women who don’t seemingly consent, he openly sexually harasses them at private company events.”
Initially, the publication denied the allegations calling them “unfounded attempts to discredit our brand and assassinate personal character.”
However, on Tuesday night (June 30), Essence sent out a press release announcing a new interim CEO, Caroline Wanga, stating that the decision was one of several steps to “ensure that Essence is the safe haven that we all expect.”
That decision followed an emergency call with staff earlier in the day, in which Page Six was told Dennis was dismayed that no one had contacted him to see if he was okay.
“It was a heated conversation. Staffers were angry with the initial statement [accusing the anonymous posters] of lying,” said a source. “They were even more furious at him for asking why no one checked in on him.”
According to Page Six, Dennis’ role as CEO was always intended to be temporary; he had just taken over in March after Michelle Ebanks resigned and transferred to the board of Essence Ventures — where Dennis will remain the chair.
The anonymous group also called for Ebanks to exit the company, as well as the resignations of COO Joy Collins Profet and chief content officer Moana Luu.