On the same day that Chamath Palihapitiya , the founder of Silicon Valley venture firm Social Capital, published a post to Medium insisting that the firm was not in dire straits, he let multiple members of his staff go, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Among the people who multiple sources confirmed were let go are partner Adam Nelson, partner Ashley Carroll, senior associate of growth Kiel Zsitvay, head of communications Kira McCroden, partner Kristin Baker Spohn, and partner Sandhya Venkatachalam.
Still more members of the firm are said to be laid off, and Business Insider is reaching out to confirm the exact number of people who were let go.
A spokesperson for Social Capital declined to comment on the layoffs.
According to people familiar with the matter, the layoffs took place as a part of what Palihapitiya described as his desire to turn Social Capital into a technology holding company in lieu of a traditional venture fund. Indeed, in an interview with The Information on Thursday, Palihapitiya noted that the new incarnation of Social Capital would have a smaller headcount of about 40 people, compared to 70 at its peak.
Still, the layoffs took the firm’s members by surprise, multiple sources told Business Insider. Palihapitiya abruptly gave several people their walking papers immediately after a conference call with the firm’s limited partners advisory committee.
“He told them that there was a team there, that everything was totally fine. And then, after that he let everybody go,” one source told Business Insider.
The sequence of events is all the stranger in the context of an Axios report on Friday which quoted a source describing Palihapitiya as repeatedly dodging tough questions about the future of the firm and about who was managing the investors’ money.
The firm has already experienced a talent exodus leading up to Thursday’s change, with multiple departures over the course of the preceding year.
As Business Insider previously reported, Palihapitiya’s involvement in the firm has been inconsistent.
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