When last we checked in on the ROO Group (RGRP.OB), the “online video solutions company” had big ambitions, a big burn rate, and not a lot else. Things don’t seem to have improved much. In the last day:
- The company has canned 40 people (about a fifth of its workforce);
- the independent directors have resigned while making allegations that included “improper payments” being made to senior management; and
- the CEO left.
It’s been a bad December: Early this month a newspaper story pointed out that one of Roo’s executives was recently indicted for felony grand larceny and money laundering.
PaidContent has had nice coverage of all of this, including the appointment of a new CEO: Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, formerly COO of JumpTV. Silicon Alley veterans, and some moviegoers, may recognise Kaleil from a former life: He was once CEO of govWorks, an Alley startup whose rise and fall was documented in the excellent movie Startup.Com.
Not surprisingly, Roo’s press release doesn’t mention Kaleil’s old job: govWorks may not have bombed any worse than a thousand other bubble era startups, but it was the only one that had pro filmmakers recording it. And Kaleil, who was all of 28 or so during that time, didn’t come off terribly well. You can get a taste by watching the preview here. Sadly the movie itself is hard to find and is inexplicably not available on Netflix.
No need to roast Kaleil for his past failure–who doesn’t have some egg on their face from Bubble 1.0? (And his web site touting his “Entrepreneur’s Success Kit” does mention the company and the movie, though in a glowing light). Hopefully he learned some lessons from the experience. He’ll need them at Roo.
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