The folks at online retailer Fab are getting annoyed at the drumbeat of negativity in the media surrounding its recent change of direction, and the
layoffs that occurredwith it.
Fab says the article is “highly skewed” and omits chunks of Goldberg’s career that don’t fit with The Verge’s implosion-themed narrative. The company also says The Verge relied on “bitter” former employees to construct its story, and failed to quote members of Fab’s board of directors who support what Goldberg is doing.
Here’s what the company tells us:
Ben Popper’s story in the Verge is a highly skewed and inaccurate representation of Jason’s career as an entrepreneur. It skips over his success between Jobster and Fab with building Social Median and running products for Xing (a public company that bought Social Median).
It tries to tie current situation at Fab with history from Jobster which are vastly different companies and situations. Specifically, Jason made changes at Jobster when the company was at the end of its path. However, at Fab, Jason and our BOD have spent the last year determining and implementing changes that are focused on moving the business towards its goal of long term sustainable profitability.
It is worth noting that the changes implemented at Fab were made directly after our round of investments over the summer (north of $US150mm) and that all of those changes were made with complete buy-in and support of our investors.
Jason is committed to Fab’s success, and our BOD and employees are committed to Jason as our leader. Ben’s story appears to consist of quotes and opinions from 4 or 5 disgruntled former employees. Understandable – it is natural to be bitter when your job is affected by strategic changes.
There is a deep well of BOD members, ex and current employees out there who are more than willing to talk about our confidence in Jason’s leadership, smarts, commitment to success and transparency. I can put you in touch with all of them. And I only wonder why reporters aren’t doing the work to talk them as much as they are willing to do the work it takes (almost none at all, I should think?) to get the negative side.
To be fair to Fab, the company has $US120 million in cash in the bank, we’re told — much more than many tech startups get in total funding. It has plenty of “runway” (the startup jargon for time available before the cash runs out) to build sales and become self-sustaining. Fab also has a $US30 million debt facility to draw on, we’re told, and a business plan that will see it through 2017.
“Fab is focused on building a long term sustainable business. We grew our expense base too fast and adjusted for it. Now we’re looking at hunkering down and focusing on executing on our a solid strategic plan with $US120M in the bank and $US30M in debt facilities,” the company tells Business Insider. Fab also drew our attention to the health of its underlying sales:
- 3.28% of all visits to our site result in a purchase. The actual conversion rate of members is well over 10% (close to 15% per yesterday).
- 25% of Fab’s 2013 purchase base has made 3 or more purchases.
- We’re on solid footing and retrenching our assets (cash, brand, learnings, consumers) to further our success in the coming years.
The company is also worried that Goldberg’s media profile might overwhelm the fame of its brand, a spokesperson told us. “I think it is really us just saying — look, here are the facts. Let’s be balanced and let’s stop painting Jason as a caricature of a CEO. That’s unfair and inaccurate.”