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Ozy Media Board Announces Investigation into Business Practices


Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson in New York at an event in 2018.


Photo:

Matthew Eisman / Getty Images for Ozy Media

The board of directors of online news magazine Ozy Media said it was investigating the company’s business practices following a New York Times report that raised questions about the company.

In a statement, the board of directors of Ozy, which includes Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, said it had hired law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP to “proceed with a review of the company’s business activities ”.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Ozy’s COO, Samir Rao, posed as an Alphabet executive. Inc.

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Carlos Watson, CEO of Ozy, said in a statement on Twitter On Sunday that Mr. Rao’s behavior during the call was “deeply unhappy” and attributed his behavior to a mental health issue.

In its statement, the council said it had asked Mr. Rao to take time off while awaiting the investigation. The board said Harry Hawks, the former executive chairman and chief financial officer of Hearst Television, had agreed to serve as interim chief financial officer during the review.

Write to Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com

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Published in the print edition of September 29, 2021 under the title “Ozy Media Directors Investigate Practices”.