Carta CEO Tries to Address Negative Press, Only Draws More Attention

Published 8 months ago

In an attempt to address recent negative press surrounding Carta, CEO Henry Ward reached out to customers via email directing them to a Medium post he authored. This move appears to have drawn further attention to the issues beleaguering the equity management startup, with some customers noting they had not been aware of the negative press until Ward mentioned it on social platform X.

A Misjudged Step by the CEO

While Ward’s aim was likely to provide transparency and reassure customers, some viewed the move as a poorly judged attempt at damage control. An investor in Carta, valued at $7.4 billion in 2021, even described it as a “weird” decision. They argued that most customers are focused on their own work and, provided the product delivers value, they don’t think about the company beyond that.

CEO’s Medium Post Reveals Internal Issues

In the Medium post, Ward outlines various internal issues at Carta. He acknowledges allegations of sexual abuse by executives, a toxic “boy’s club culture,” and indecent exposure, among others. He also confirms that Carta has “extensive documentation” of inappropriate behavior by former CTO Jerry Talton and former Chief Product Officer Heidi Johnson. Both were eventually fired, which Ward asserts was not the mistake - the mistake was hiring them in the first place.

This year started with Carta suing its former CTO, Jerry Talton, for alleged “wrongful and illegal acts” as an executive of the company. However, this wasn’t the first time Carta faced legal battles. In 2020, its former VP of marketing accused the company of gender discrimination, retaliation, and violation of the California Equal Pay Act. Several employees also claimed they were sidelined, demoted, or saw pay cuts when they voiced concerns about the company’s operation.

Poor Customer Service Allegations

Apart from internal issues, Carta has also been accused of poor customer service. Several customers voiced dissatisfaction with the company, with some noting a lack of continuity and understanding of their needs due to frequent account manager changes. Other complaints included a lack of internal communication and poor fund administration.

Increased Scrutiny

As the year progressed, the company faced more scrutiny. A former sales manager filed a lawsuit alleging retaliation by Ward after she filed harassment claims against Carta’s revenue officer. More recently, Insider reported on allegations of a company culture rife with harassment, discrimination, and a CEO perceived as volatile.

As the allegations and negative press continue to mount, it remains to be seen how Carta and its CEO will navigate this challenging period.