After 32 Years Debra Lee Is Saying Goodbye To BET

by Krystal Franklin

May 24, 2018

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

BET’s chairman and CEO Debra Lee is stepping down. After beginning her career with the company as its first VP and General Counsel in 1986, she was promoted to President and COO in 1996. She has fiercely held her current title since 2005.

“In 1986 I joined BET Networks to be its very first in-house counsel. As a young corporate attorney I saw my role as the protector of the BET brand and its employees and today, more than 32 years later, I still see myself as the protector and defender of a brand that I have helped to grow as a top destination for audiences across the globe. I have called BET Networks home for over three decades and this team is part of my extended family. In addition to the legacy I have built for BET Networks in the media landscape, I am also extremely proud of the legacy of values that I helped to instill at the network during my tenure. My belief that we can do well and do good has been a guiding principle and one that I hope you will continue after my departure. Together, we have built a world-class brand that connects with fans through the power of storytelling and we have attracted and nurtured top talent across the globe.”

Under her leadership, Mara Brock Akil‘s The Game, and Jesse Collins‘ The New Edition Story broke massive records. She was also responsible for the huge success of Being Mary Jane and Real Husbands of Hollywood.

Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET

So what’s next? She reportedly plans to continue her work for the #TimesUp movement and The Recording Academy Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Her last day is May 28. Let’s all applaud Debra for the great work she’s done! #BlackGirlMagic

TELL US:  What should she do next?

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