PayPal’s new director of strategy, Rakesh Agrawal, is already out with only two months on the job. And on his way out the door, he took to Twitter Friday night to rail against his own colleagues.
The tweets started at about 1am with the announcement: “Done working for the weekend. Jazz fest time.” The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival wrapped this Sunday.
By the middle of the night, he was posting tweets with crazy misspellings and giving the finger to some unidentified someone. Unlike the post at right, some of those crazy tweets were directed at other Paypal staffers who he does name. This finger tweet and many of the others in this Business Insider post look to have been since deleted.
By Saturday evening, PayPal posted on its Twitter account that Agrawal was “no longer with the company” because they have a “zero tolerance” policy for the disrespect Agrawal showed his fellow staffers. Agrawal maintains, however, that he quit, calling the PayPal tweet “misleading” because it insinuates he was fired. In the screenshot that Agrawal posted of his resignation, you see a time stamp of 9:34pm on Friday, a few hours before his tweet rant began.
Fired or resigned, this is not a good look for Agrawal.
The resignation letter gives PayPal two weeks notice, but asks that he be “released immediately so [he] can begin pitching [his] new story.” The letter is pleasant, with Agrawal going so far as to say it was a “pleasure” to work with the people that the letter is addressed to — Stan Chudnovsky and David Marcus. But just hours later, it’s clear he’s having too much Hurricane fun at JazzFest and he goes off incoherently. (The two men don’t appear to be the targets of his tweets.)
Ultimately, he blames the public tweets on a DM issue; he’d meant for all of this to go to one person and it accidentally posted far and wide. He even goes so far to tweet, “Sometimes I think twitter doesn’t fix dm issue because it serves as marketing. Huge UX failure that is a marketing goldmine.”
But then he continues with the rapid fire tweeting, saying he’ll hire the first person who can identify what’s going on in a random photo (presumably, he’s talking about hiring for the “new story” that he’s telling) and posting another pic of him shaking hands with a man who he says is his “first investor,” Dave from Minneapolis who he has known for a long time. It’s about 16 hours of grammatically correct postings, but some of them single lines that don’t make much sense. All of it just seems to be the ramblings of someone who can’t stop typing.
You never want to burn bridges, particularly when you’re starting up a new company. Besides leaving a lot of disgruntled execs behind with his departure, Agrawal’s also proving himself to have questionable online judgment. If he’s looking for more than one investor and they do a little research, these postings will likely come back to harm him. What if he has a falling out with someone he has future business dealings with? Will he bad mouth them on Twitter? Who wants to work with someone who isn’t representing himself very well online?
Even if he has a brilliant idea for a new company, his reputation after this incident may precede him. Professionally, this is the sort of thing that will impact relationships he has for the foreseeable future.