Monday, July 17, 2017

Hampton Creek, Attempting the 2 1/2 Twisting Reverse Uber, Sticks the Faceplant Landing! Entire Board Leaves, CEO Remains!

And the Valley is going crazy!
But seriously, we would have expected nothing less. What a performance!
From Bloomberg: 

Hampton Creek’s Entire Board Leaves Except for CEO
At least five directors left the board of food startup Hampton Creek Inc., many in the last month, over deep discord with co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Josh Tetrick, said people familiar with the matter. Tetrick is now the only remaining board member, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Departures include Bon Appétit Management Co. co-founder and CEO Fedele Bauccio, former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and Khosla Ventures partner Samir Kaul, said the people. Bart Swanson, who represented Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, also left. Lynne Benioff, the wife of Inc.’s chief executive officer, stepped down from the board last year.

Tetrick described the board changes as a way to give more power to staff. “Ensuring our employees maintain their ability to direct our mission is as critical as the technologies we deploy and the products we launch,” Tetrick wrote in an emailed statement. “We will always protect this principle.”

In an email, a spokesman said on behalf of outgoing directors: “We continue to fully support Hampton Creek and its CEO Josh in their exciting and important mission to change the food industry for the better of all people. We will advise Josh and the team on strategies across all areas of its business moving forward.”...MORE
One problem with the "way to give more power to staff" spin is this from June 7:
Hampton Creek (Just Mayo) Reports an Attempted Employee Coup
We have posts on Tetrick and Hampton Creek going back to 2013, here are some of the recent ones:
June 29
"Mayo-scandal firm Hampton Creek from San Francisco going whole hog for Frankenmeat: report"
June 23
Just Mayo Guy, Hampton Creek's Josh Tetrick, Pivots to Industrial Scale Ingredient Supply Biz
May 9
Hampton Creek: Remember All Our Vegetarian Talk? Never Mind

May 8
Bro Culture Apparently Works Best With An Unending Supply of Other People's Money: Hampton Creek Edition
“Leveraging our Hampton Creek Instagram channel through condiment launches for our Just Mayo and Just Dressings allows us to showcase our condiments in a playful, creative way and allows us to connect with different consumer demographics across the country. We also leverage Hampton Creek fan reposts and user-generated content...."
That is Hampton Creek's brand marketing director quoted in Progressive Grocer.
As the man said when told his Chinese takeaway was cultural appropriation:
When you talk like that you are self-identifying as an idiot.

Last Wednesday the Financial Times' David Keohane pointed us to a Hampton Creek article that reminded me of nothing so much as Christopher Isherwood's sad stories of the he-whores and she-whores who overstayed the great Weimar Berlin party of the 1920's.

All I could think of was "Dude, the rave's over, go home".... 
Hampton Creek CEO Fires Top Execs After Fundraising Struggle