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Unfortunately the great people are outweighed by a micromanaging, domineering CEO. I cannot say enough bad things about him; every few days I would cringe during his extended monologues where he explained why we were all idiots and his way was right. If the editorial staff were left to be creative and follow their own stories, the site would be incredible; unfortunately, the CEO is determined not to let that happen, and is constantly assigning derivative stories and strange projects to staffers that preclude our ability to work on things that might actually get traffic and build the brand. He wastes money on projects that fail six months later then lays off editorial staff (like me) to pay the debts. He has an incredible ability to instantly forget his failures while simultaneously blaming anyone else on staff for things that go wrong. The phrase ?set up for failure? springs to mind: the kinds of cuts to staff are impeding the site tremendously, though he would blame us when things went wrong due to his cuts. Weirdly, he also gaslighted us all the time: there would be some big project on the horizon or some big collaboration that was 90% certain to happen and then would never materialize. It happened constantly, to the point that I was acting and doing my job based on intel that I?d been told was guaranteed but wasn?t true. He?d forget about these sorts of things a few days later, sometimes a few hours. I suspect he is a sociopath. He actually told us once to take all our vacation hours because studies show that employees who take more vacations are more productive. Gee, thanks. I think the sociopathy explains how he is able to lay off staff with children (self included) so readily and quickly. The painful thing about layoffs was that half the time , he would change his mind a week later and we?d have the position open again. It was maddeningly inconsistent and spoke to his incompetence. I was lucky to work in New York and not have to see him in person much, but when he was around it was chilling how clueless he was. Long silences during his monologues where staffers all looked around incredulous at how self-important and sanctimonious this dude was. Go down the checklist of what a bad CEO does: micromanaging, demoralizing employees, perpetuating an atmosphere of fear, irrational behavior, broken promises, gas lighting employees. If I were on the board and I witnessed what was happening, I would kick him out immediately. The site would prosper pretty quickly. Getting laid off was sad, but I am on some level glad not to have to work with him again.
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