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Ozy Media chairman resigns as the company faces questions.


The chairman of the board of directors of Ozy Media resigned Thursday, saying he lacked experience in “crisis management and investigations” to continue to run the company.

Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager who also co-owns the Milwaukee Bucks, made the announcement four days after The New York Times reported that someone from Ozy appeared to have impersonated a YouTube executive during of a conference call with Goldman Sachs bankers as he tries to raise $ 40 million.

Ozy chief executive Carlos Watson told The Times it was Samir Rao, the company’s co-founder and COO. During the call, the supposed YouTube executive praised Ozy, saying it was a big hit on the platform. Mr Watson attributed the incident to a mental health crisis. Mr. Rao did not answer questions about his role on the call.

“I think to move forward, Ozy requires experience in areas such as crisis management and investigations, where I have no particular expertise,” Lasry said in a statement sent by email. “For this reason, I resigned from the board of directors of the company. I remain an investor in the company and wish it the best for the future.

Ozy, which debuted in 2013, is promoting itself as a popular millennial media company. Its investors have included Emerson Collective, the organization led by Laurene Powell Jobs, and Axel Springer, the Berlin-based publishing giant. Ron Conway, a Silicon Valley investor and one of Ozy’s early backers, said this week that he had returned his shares to the company.

On Tuesday, Ozy’s board said it hired law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison to investigate “business activities” and the firm’s management team.



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