Iterable co-founder Justin Zhu
Index Ventures recently sold about half its shares in Iterable, The Information reported. The sale, to Silver Lake Partners, came before Iterable’s CEO was fired for LSD use while at work. Two investors on the board previously had concerns about the CEO’s leadership, The Information reported. See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Prior to marketing startup Iterable firing its CEO, Justin Zhu, this week, a major investor sold roughly $92 million of its shares in the company, The Information’s Kate Clark reported Wednesday.
Iterable, founded in 2013 by Zhu and Andrew Boni, made headlines this week after Bloomberg reported that its CEO had been fired for violating company policy. Zhu told Bloomberg he had used LSD while at work in an effort to boost his focus and creativity, taking a small dose of the drug in a practice commonly known as microdosing before an investor meeting in 2019. Boni is taking over the top job as a result of Zhu’s departure.
The new report from The Information, arriving a day after the news of the CEO ousting, sheds light on broader investor concern of the CEO’s leadership that could extend beyond his use of LSD.
The investor, Index Ventures, sold roughly 50% of its shares in the marketing startup to Silver Lake Partners, which took the investor’s board seat as a result, according to the report. The sale happened in early April, according to The Information, just weeks prior to Zhu’s ousting.
While it’s not clear what exactly happened at that investor meeting in 2019, The Information reports two investors, Murat Bicer at VC firm CRV, and Index Ventures’ Shardul Shah, who departed the board as a result of the share sale, had previously been unhappy with Zhu’s leadership of the startup.
The Information reports the CEO had also voiced plans to be more vocal about the issue of racism against Asian Americans in the US, which has seen a rise in hate crimes. Zhu is Chinese, and