Quibi's founder reportedly told staffers to listen to a song from the movie 'Trolls' as he announced they would be losing their jobs

ReutersJeffrey Katzenberg.
  • Quibi’s founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, told employees to listen to the song “Get Back Up Again” from the movie “Trolls” to help lift their spirits during the company’s shutdown, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Employees were told Wednesday that they would be laid off and receive severance, The Journal reported.
  • Quibi announced Wednesday that it was shutting down just six months after launching. The company raised $US1.75 billion from investors but failed to attract viewers.
  • In an open letter, Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman said Quibi’s failure was likely due to the core of the idea as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Quibi’s founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, told employees on a call on Wednesday to listen to a song from the movie “Trolls” to help lift their spirits during the company’s shutdown, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal’s Benjamin Mullin, Joe Flint, and Maureen Farrell.

The company announced on Wednesday that it would shut down just six months after launching. People familiar with the matter told The Journal that employees would be laid off and paid a severance.

According to The Journal, Katzenberg advised employees on the call to listen to the song “Get Back Up Again” performed by Anna Kendrick, on the soundtrack of the 2016 animated film “Trolls.”

Read more: Quibi just lost another high-profile exec a few weeks after launching. Here are the 13 power players who bet on the startup’s vision of changing mobile video still there.

A Quibi representative did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the call.

Quibi’s goal was to create short-form shows that were specially formatted for smartphones and could be watched on the go. The streaming service raised $US1.75 billion from investors like Walmart, PepsiCo, and Anheuser-Busch InBev ahead of its launch in April but failed to attract viewers.

In an open letter, Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman said Quibi wasn’t succeeding because of the coronavirus pandemic and because “the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service.”

“We have reluctantly come to the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders, and say goodbye to our colleagues with grace,” Katzenberg and Whitman wrote. “We want you to know we did not give up on this idea without a fight.”

Katzenberg told investors on Wednesday that Quibi would return $US350 million in capital rather than try to keep the company afloat, The Journal reported. In the letter, Katzenberg and Whitman said that in the coming months they’d look for buyers for Quibi’s original content and its underlying technology platform.

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