When David Sacks signed on as the new CEO of Zenefits, a health-insurance brokerage startup, he probably didn’t anticipate that he was essentially signing on to run a frat house. While every new leader likes to institute their own set of rules, Sacks had to do a real overhaul of employee culture, due to the heavy drinking and on-campus sex occurring at the San Francisco-based company. Apparently, Emily Agin, Zenefits’ director of real estate and workplace services, sent out an email last June to all employees to have the slightest modicum of chill at work, because they were becoming a menace to the other companies that shared their building.
“It has been brought to our attention by building management and Security that the stairwells are being used inappropriately….Cigarettes, plastic cups filled with beer, and several used condoms were found in the stairwell. Yes, you read that right. Do not use the stairwells to smoke, drink, eat, or have sex. Please respect building and company policy and use common sense…”
Apparently founder and former CEO Parker Conrad resigned in part due to the out-of-control antics of Zenefits employees. The sales staff in particular had gotten out of control. I mean, it’s one thing to have a drink or two at a company event, especially at a West Coast startup. It’s another to take shots at your desk when you book a new client. So, Sacks has come in to clean house and remind Zenefits that they’re professionals, not champion beer-pong players (at least not when they’re on the clock). No one likes to be the one to bust up a party, but someone has to do it. In a statement on Monday, Zenefits spokesman Kenneth Baer informed everyone that there was a new sheriff in town:
“As Zenefits’ new CEO has made clear, it is time to turn the page at Zenefits and embrace a new set of corporate values and culture. Zenefits is now focused on developing business practices that will ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements, and making certain that the company operates with integrity as its number-one value.”
What. A. Buzzkill.
(Via Wall Street Journal)