As you peruse crisis news–which I do daily to prepare this column–it seems that words like ‘ego,’ ‘personality cult,’ ‘driven’ and ‘ambitious’ inevitably are in the first few paragraphs of many stories. We’ve written about how founders’ personalities contributed to the downfall of Theranos, WeWork and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” And recently, we saw a similar pattern with the now-defunct media conglomerate Ozy and iconic game show “Jeopardy!.”
Carlos Watson and Samir Rao, two ex-Goldman Sachs employees with the ability to attract a ton of blue-chip investors, founded Ozy, a multi-media company. Watson was the company’s face. He’s a former CNN and MSNBC contributor. Rao became Ozy’s COO.
Like Theranos, Ozy’s growth was based almost entirely on really good PR. The company claimed “we will never tell a story that another national or international publication has already covered.” It boasted about discovering and writing about celebrities like Trevor Noah, Amanda Gorman and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez. Except that wasn’t true.
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