UPDATE: The Former Frat House Billion Dollar Startup Just Laid Off A Bunch Of People

This Billion-Dollar Startup's New CEO Is Taking Away Their Booze And Sex-Filled Frat House Culture

Updated Feb 26, 2016:

Remember when Zenefit’s new CEO took away their booze and hallway sex? Well things are getting worse, per Mashable.

Zenefits, the high-flying human resources software startup that has been dragged down in recent weeks by compliance failures and reports of sex in the office, announced Friday that it will be laying off about 250 employees, or 17% of its staff.

The layoffs, said to be “almost entirely” in its sales division — coincidentally, the one that was the primary target of the lecture about the sexual activity — represent the startup’s latest attempt to curb its reckless growth and equally reckless behavior.

David Sacks, their new CEO, said it wasn’t actually their fault that they’re getting laid off… yeah, right, buddy. I’m sure. We all know that sales division got lit.

Originally published Feb 23, 2016:

You’ve all seen Wolf Of Wall Street. You’ve talked to your buddies about the prospect of locking down some quaaludes and imagined what it’d be like to do a midget-toss while a bunch of topless chicks pranced around your place of work. And that’s fine — it’s okay to dream.

But imagine working at a company where you could drink all day. Where you could have sex at work. Where you could be the caged animal that comes out every weekend when the clock strikes five on Friday.

Got that idea in your head? Good. Because that’s what Zenefit’s culture used to be like. The company that describes itself as, “online HR Software that gives your team a single place to manage all your human resource needs,” used to have that unbelievable frat house culture. But now? It’s all being taken away.

Via Wall Street Journal:

Zenefits’s new chief executive, David Sacks, last week banned alcohol in the office of the health-insurance brokerage startup as he tries to reverse its rambunctious culture, especially among sales staff.

But David Sacks didn’t stop at banning alcohol. Oh, no. He went even further and did the unthinkable — he banned people from smoking and banging in the company’s stairwell too.

Last June, Emily Agin, the company’s director of real estate and workplace services, sent a note to San Francisco-based employees to cut out crude behavior, lest the company lose access to the building’s stairwells.

The email, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, read in part:

“It has been brought to our attention by building management and Security that the stairwells are being used inappropriately….Cigarettes, plastic cups filled with beer, and several used condoms were found in the stairwell. Yes, you read that right. Do not use the stairwells to smoke, drink, eat, or have sex. Please respect building and company policy and use common sense…”

Me? I’d walk. It’s one thing to work at a traditional company for your entire life and only be allowed to indulge on the weekends. But imagine being someone that left their job for Zenefit. Someone that said, “This is going to be the most fun job I’ll ever have,” and left their easy, lame life behind only to reap the benefits of Zenefit only to get them taken away shortly thereafter. You can’t go from living that extravagant office lifestyle only to revert back to being a hamster running on the corporate wheel.

There’s no way I would’ve left my old job had I not thought Grandex would let me and Boosh crack Bud Lights in the office before noon. There’s no way I would’ve moved to Texas if it didn’t mean I could take the occasional ping pong break in between looking at TFM leads of dudes balls falling out of their pants. No. I left my safe life behind to vigorously blog at a company that lets stallions run with stallions. And for that, I’ll be forever thankful.

But should that get taken away? I’d be a shell of myself. I’d be borderline suicidal having to go back to an office where I can’t toss on whatever PGA event is on Golf Network that given Thursday. This isn’t an open letter to my CEO expressing that I’ll walk should we become to corporate, but hey, I’m glad I’ve gotten this down on paper.

[via Wall Street Journal]

Image via YouTube

Email this to a friend


Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

13 Comments You must log in to comment, or create an account

Show Comments

For More Photos and Content

Latest podcasts

Download Our App

Take PGP with you. Get

New Stories

Load More