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6 members of Social Capital were let go on Thursday



Chamath Palihapitiya

Brian Ach/Getty Images
for TechCrunch

  • Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of Silicon Valley venture
    firm Social Capital, let go more than six members of his staff,
    including four partners, on Thursday. 
  • According to sources, the layoffs occurred shortly
    after a call with the firm’s limited partners.
  • Despite a rift in the firm that resulted in the
    departures of many of the firm’s founding members beginning
    last year, sources said that the layoffs took members of the
    firm by surprise. 

On the same day that Chamath
, the founder of Silicon Valley venture firm
Social Capital, published a
post to Medium insisting that the firm was not in dire
, he let multiple members of his staff go, according
to sources familiar with the matter.

Among the people who multiple sources confirmed were let go are
partner Adam Nelson, partner Ashley Carroll, senior
associate of growth Kiel Zsitvay, head of communications Kira
McCroden, partner Kristin Baker Spohn, and partner Sandhya

Still more members of the firm are said to be laid off, and
Business Insider is reaching out to confirm the exact number of
people who were let go. 

A spokesperson for Social Capital declined to comment on
the layoffs.

According to people familiar with the matter, the layoffs took
place as a part of what Palihapitiya described
as his desire to turn Social Capital into a technology holding
company in lieu of a traditional venture fund. Indeed,
in an interview with The Information on
Palihapitiya noted that the new
incarnation of Social Capital would have a smaller headcount of
about 40 people, compared to 70 at its peak.

Still, the layoffs took the firm’s members by surprise, multiple
sources told Business
Insider. Palihapitiya abruptly gave
several people their walking papers immediately after a
conference call with the firm’s limited partners advisory

“He told them that there was a team there, that everything was
totally fine. And then, after that he let everybody go,” one
source told Business Insider. 

The sequence of events is all the stranger in the context of

an Axios report on Friday
which quoted a source
describing Palihapitiya as
repeatedly dodging tough questions about the future of the firm
and about who was managing the investors’ money. 

The firm has already experienced a talent exodus leading up to
Thursday’s change, with multiple departures over the course
of the preceding year.

Business Insider previously
Palihapitiya’s involvement
in the firm has been inconsistent.

Read more about Social Capital’s meltdown:

‘Shame on the LPs’: Insiders say the unraveling of Silicon
Valley’s hottest VC firm, Social Capital, could have been

We have new details about the VC firm being started by the Social
Capital defectors — including its official name

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