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The board of directors of Ozy, a digital media organization, reported on Tuesday that it had employed a law business to look into its “business activities” following a New York Situations report elevated issues about the company’s methods.
In a statement, the board explained it had hired Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, a big intercontinental business with headquarters in New York, to conduct the evaluate. The board also reported it experienced asked Samir Rao, the chief functioning officer of Ozy, “to get a leave of absence pending the outcomes of the investigation.”
“We will proceed to critique the company’s leadership in the coming months,” the board said in the statement.
Founded in 2013, Ozy has a normal fascination information web-site, publishes a raft of newsletters and provides job interview applications and documentaries, some of which show up on YouTube. The Times’s media columnist, Ben Smith, described that Mr. Rao experienced apparently impersonated a YouTube executive during a meeting call in February with Goldman Sachs bankers who have been contemplating a deal to invest $40 million in Ozy. On the call, the individual posing as the government told the bankers that Ozy’s films have been a fantastic good results on YouTube.
Ozy’s founder, Carlos Watson, explained to The Instances and posted on Twitter that Mr. Rao had been likely by means of a mental well being disaster at the time of the simply call. He added that Mr. Rao took some time off get the job done afterward but experienced given that returned to the firm, which is centered in Mountain Perspective, Calif. Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager, a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball crew and chairman of the Ozy board, explained to The Times in a statement for the short article revealed on Sunday that “the board was made aware of the incident, and we absolutely assistance the way it was handled.”
After the convention simply call, Goldman Sachs referred to as off its possible expense in Ozy, and Google, which owns YouTube, alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (The F.B.I.’s San Francisco discipline business office would not verify or deny the existence of an investigation.)
On Tuesday, Ozy’s board reported that Harry Hawks, a former executive president and chief financial officer of Hearst Television, would provide as an interim main economical officer though the company’s leadership was below evaluate.
News of the investigation was first reported by The Wall Road Journal.