Ozy Media Suspends Executive After Report of Fake Investor Call
(Bloomberg) -- Ozy Media suspended its chief operating officer, Samir Rao, following allegations that he impersonated a YouTube executive on a conference call with potential investors.
The company said in a statement that former Hearst Television executive Harry Hawks will serve as interim chief financial officer as the board reviews its leadership in coming months.
“Following reports of conduct that is not in keeping with our standards or values, Ozy has engaged Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to conduct a review of the company’s business activities,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Ozy bills itself as a “modern media company,” creating podcasts, television shows and events. Rao was one of the founders, along with Carlos Watson, its chief executive officer.
Rao impersonated a YouTube executive in February as the company was making a pitch for a $40 million investment from the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to a New York Times article published on Sept. 26. Watson attributed the incident to a mental health crisis on Rao’s part, according to the paper, and said the company stood by him.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.