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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Ousted Flexport CEO Dave Clark strikes again

Dave Clark, the previous Amazon govt who was ousted as CEO of Flexport only a yr into the job, fired again at its founder and board, calling latest reporting on the logistics firm “deeply regarding.”

Clark made the feedback Monday in a prolonged publish on social media web site X following a report from CNBC that offered new details about his final days at Flexport, a freight forwarding and customs brokerage startup valued at $8 billion. Clark, who was handpicked by founder Ryan Petersen to take the highest job, mentioned he found intensive issues when he joined Flexport in September 2022, together with a “income forecasting mannequin that was constantly offering overly optimistic outputs.”

Flexport couldn’t be reached for remark. TechCrunch will replace this text if Flexport responds.

The publish on X (previously often called Twitter) reads:

Working with integrity and treating colleagues with respect is essential to the success of any firm, which, as a shareholder, makes at the moment’s CNBC story and different latest reporting about Flexport deeply regarding. Regardless of my quick tenure, I care concerning the firm and its staff and need it to succeed.

After I joined Flexport as co-CEO in September 2022, I discovered an organization missing course of and monetary self-discipline, together with quite a few customer-facing points that resulted in vital misplaced prospects and a income forecasting mannequin that was constantly offering overly optimistic outputs. The corporate had missed value, margin, and income forecasts for a number of quarters previous to my arrival. My go-forward plan for Flexport, which was vetted by Ryan and offered to the Board, was centered on delivering progress and transferring to align prices with income, not a income quantity primarily based on hope — however one grounded in actuality.

Though the issues at Flexport had been rather more intensive than I assumed they might be after I agreed to hitch, I’ve by no means shied away from a problem. Throughout my time at Flexport, working alongside a gifted workforce, we efficiently transitioned to a brand new tech and product organizational mannequin, built-in a big acquisition and quickly launched an end-to-end provide chain know-how product all whereas concurrently bettering Flexport’s operations and inner processes.

Flexport is going through severe inner and trade challenges that require severe management, and I sincerely hope they discover a profitable path. However for me, it’s time to go construct one thing new elsewhere…after which after that who is aware of.
Clark’s sudden departure was just the start of upheaval inside the firm.

The feedback are the most recent in an inner drama between Clark, Petersen and the board that was unfolding behind the scenes this summer time, just some months after the corporate acquired Shopify’s logistics unit. The difficulty got here to a head in September when Clark was compelled out.

The interior govt drama didn’t finish with Clark’s departure.

Two days after Clark abruptly stepped down as CEO, Petersen mentioned Flexport would rescind dozens of employment presents and look to lease out the corporate’s workplace house because it seems to be to get prices below management and “get its home so as,” in response to a publish on the social media web site X. In a separate publish, Petersen famous that Flexport has “grade A” workplace house to sublease in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York Metropolis and different places around the globe.

Petersen’s most important complaints round Clark’s management — at the very least on public feedback he has made — have centered round prices, particularly hiring and increasing too rapidly. Nonetheless, Clark’s hiring and large “entrepreneurial” imaginative and prescient for Flexport was hardly a secret. Clark was co-CEO alongside Petersen his first six months on the job. Petersen then stepped into an govt chairman function.

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