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Chief Executive of Social Finance to Step Down (nytimes.com)
51 points by coloneltcb 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments



Interesting that branding is not important/creatively skirted when negative news is involved. Doesn't come as a surprise. Wondering, if this is intentional. Difficult to imagine that the company is spoon feeding an NY times reporter the headlines. Always saw SoFi everywhere in ads and branding. Social Finance on Google doesn't rank SoFi in the top two organic search results. Wonder why the headline is Social Finance instead of SoFi though there is mention of SoFi in the article.


Maybe they put that in the headline because that's the name of the company. Doesn't seem particularly confusing to me.


The NYT frequently uses full company names, for example they used to refer to SpaceX as "Space Exploration Technologies", and they still put periods in places where other journalists won't (I.B.M.).

I wouldn't read anything into it other than the NYT marches to the beat of a different drummer.


Yikes. Culture starts from the person at the top and flows down.

Curious to see how and if the cultural narrative within Silicon Valley companies will change one year from now after all that's happened. Will there actually be meaningful change? I don't know, but I'm hoping so.


I was chatting in bed with my lady about this last night and we hit on a few negative potential outcomes and concerns:

Companies and their investors are going to look for ways to prevent these issues from happening. Part of the solution will rest on coaching, monitoring and policing (perhaps through employee empowerment etc) the "aggressive" people (mostly men) in the workplace.

A concern my girlfriend highlighted is that this may increase unconscious bias in the hiring process, for example:

Will men consider beautiful girls a risk to the workplace? If you have 90% male employees working in your office and a beautiful girl who is definitely qualified for the job but for the sake of argument not someone you "have to have" for this role, are you introducing risk into the workplace by hiring her knowing that people react stronger to attractive people? Said differently, is there a possibility that her presence becomes a potential "distraction" in the office.

Will progressive personalities be considered a risk to the workplace? Beyond looks to personality types, if you are interviewing a candidate and through rounds of interviews you discover they actively contribute their spare time and energy toward socially progressive movements, rallies, campaigns etc, will they be deemed higher risks as potential work-place agitators?

I never really thought about these things until my gf mentioned them but apparently she and her girlfriends consider these factors when strategizing about interviews ("don't look too good, etc").

Another anecdote: we have a handful of couples we're close to whose girlfriends/wives insist that their CEO boyfriends/husbands never conduct challenging performance based conversations with female employees without a witness present. This was consistent with my girlfriend's experience in banking where she found that her senior managers were comfortable having performance reviews 1-1 (which in theory facilitates more candid dialogue and deeper relationships) whereas all the girls had multiple managers present reviews. On the margin, does this disadvantage women? I don't know but my gf seemed to think so.


> Will men consider beautiful girls a risk to the workplace

this isn't just a concern at work, but also when hanging out with male friends also.

adding an attractive female will instantly change the dynamic. some men completely change their personalities when an attractive female is around. they'll start subtly insulting other guys, etc. i'm sure all men do it to a certain degree but some just are not socialized well enough to handle it.


>Will men consider beautiful girls a risk to the workplace? If you have 90% male employees working in your office and a beautiful girl who is definitely qualified for the job but for the sake of argument not someone you "have to have" for this role, are you introducing risk into the workplace by hiring her knowing that people react stronger to attractive people? Said differently, is there a possibility that her presence becomes a potential "distraction" in the office.

Yes. This is already a thing (in some workplaces). I'm just saying it exists, not that I endorse or condemn it.

>Will progressive personalities be considered a risk to the workplace? Beyond looks to personality types, if you are interviewing a candidate and through rounds of interviews you discover they actively contribute their spare time and energy toward socially progressive movements, rallies, campaigns etc, will they be deemed higher risks as potential work-place agitators?

See above. In fact I'd say the reverse is more true. Nobody would blink twice if their coworker drove a car plastered in anti GMO and pro local farming bumper stickers but if a "venison is always free range" sticker showed up it would probably be noticed.

>whereas all the girls had multiple managers present reviews

It only takes one semi-baseless allegation of sexual harassment to create a policy like this.


There is precedent for a bias against hiring someone who is too attractive, see "Fired for Being Beautiful:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/opinion/fired-for-being-be...


"Companies and their investors are going to look for ways to prevent these issues from happening. Part of the solution will rest on coaching, monitoring and policing (perhaps through employee empowerment etc) the "aggressive" people (mostly men) in the workplace."

Just be a good person... It's really easy. I don't know why a guy would need coaching on basic decency.


Yeah, this is classic victim blaming. "Oh, she looked too pretty, I couldn't help myself from touching her ass."

How about not hiring assholes in the first place? If they have to be coached to not have issues with women, then they aren't worth your time.


From the BBC recently an article about a CEO who dyed her hair and wore glasses to increase odds with VC.

"I dye my hair brown to be taken more seriously at work" http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-41082939


What does "aggressive" mean in this context, and why is it in quotes?


I didn't know Smoove B was on Hacker News. Oooooh yeah.

http://www.theonion.com/personalities/smoove-b-1022


Also woah I didn't read your whole comment. "Will men consider beautiful girls a risk to the workplace?"

What kind of question is that? So beautiful girls don't have a right to a job because men are afraid of them? Honestly that's kind of messed up to think about. "Beautiful girls" are people too...


>Also woah I didn't read your whole comment.

Is this some form of satire? I would suggest reading their whole comment or refraining from commenting yourself.


No this comment was not. Sorry if you thought my comment was offensive. I'm just saying that I think it's offensive to say that "beautiful women" are a problem in an office as if they're not people too...is that an outlandish thing to think?


it's outlandish to think that your reading comprehension is so poor, but it true.


Yeah it's definitely true. You are right, I'm clearly an idiot. I am in the wrong


...apparently it is judging by the number of downvotes I'm getting.


Maybe he was busy having "inappropriate relations" with the people who should have been "reviewing" my paperwork?

Tried to use them years ago and... turnaround time took weeks. Their web interface just kept telling me they were "reviewing" then "need more info" without any concrete info as to what was needed. Emails took days to get a reply to.

Tried to use them again last year - same horrible turnaround/response time (days/weeks).

I was able to use another institution and have my financial stuff handled and done in less time than it took them to even clarify why the exact same info other financial agents were fine with wasn't good enough (and, they never did).

They followed up about 4 months later to ask if I still needed service.


The internal messaging is the same as external: "buisness is strong, we continue to execute as we did, looking for a new ceo".

However, if you read between the lines, it sounds like the board might have been looking for an excuse to oust Mike, who preferred high risk ventures and expansions, and replace him with someone experienced in bringing companies to an IPO. It seems like this is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, in terms of bad press.


“I believe now is the right time for SoFi to start the search for a new leader,” Mr. Cagney said in a statement.

What's with these cowardly statements? Admit your mistakes, say you're no longer the right leader, and that's why you're stepping down.




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