Dec 1, 2021 - Economy

Ozy Media strikes severance deal with ex-employees

Illustration of the OZY logo with a slashed line over the letter O, forming a no sign.

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Ozy Media, which recently imploded amid investigations into alleged fraud, has reached a severance settlement with most of its former full-time employees, Axios has learned.

Behind the scenes: Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway, who surrendered his Ozy shares, quietly hired law firm Wilson Sonsini to represent the ex-employees, with a final deal signed just before Thanksgiving. It included final paychecks, requested reimbursements, accrued but unused PTO and other owed wages (e.g., commissions).

  • "SV Angel is known for being fierce advocates for founders, but when founders are in the wrong, we become advocates for their team members," Conway tells Axios. "I'm glad we were able to help get Ozy's team members get the severance they deserved."
  • Ozy's former contractors and part-time employees were not part of the negotiation.

Big picture: It's unclear how many people still work at Ozy, whose CEO Carlos Watson didn't return a request for comment.

  • The team page on its website includes many people who are long gone, and the company is believed to still be under federal investigation by both the DOJ and SEC.
  • Ozy does continue to regularly produce a newsletter, but no new podcasts or videos.
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