An ex-PayPal executive who has been on an extended — and infamous — Twitter spree, says that the company's human resources department shouldn't "f--k with" its best people, according to an audo recording of conversation.
Last weekend, PayPal's director of strategy Rakesh "Rocky" Agrawal posted a string of late-night, occasionally incoherent tweets, some of which insulted fellow employees, including PayPal's VP of global communications, Christina Smedley.
The next day, Agrawal wrote on Twitter that he had meant to send the tweets as private messages, and it eventually came out that he had already sent in his two-weeks' notice to PayPal before the messages began. He has been at the company for less than two months.
Since then, he has continued his frenetic Twitter posting, publishing hundreds of tweets in the last three days, alluding to a new company that he's launching, making cryptic comments about investors, and challenging his followers to find him in New York City. Late last night, PayPal president David Marcus published a letter calling the events of the last few days "shocking and sad" and encouraging Agrawal's friends to reach out to him about his "worrisome behavior."
One of the people who did meet with Agrawal was Rob Pegoraro, a journalist who worked with Agrawal at the Washington Post years ago. The two went out for dinner in New York City last night.
Pegoraro has written about the encounter on his blog, and insists that " contrary to the Hunter S. Thompson-esque persona [Agrawal has] been creating, he seemed in command of his wits and confident in the ultimate success of his social-media strategy."
Pegoraro links to one of Agrawal's tweets from later in the night:
He also includes an audio clip of part of their conversation, in which Agrawal talks about hiring practices and at tech companies like Twitter and PayPal.
"PayPal — for all their problems — they made a job for me. They didn't care about all the rules. They just said, 'We want you, we'll make it happen.' They paid me more than I was asking for," Agrawal says in Pegoraro's recording, "That's how much they wanted me. And I respect that. When I saw the offer I was like, 'Holy cow that's huge.' That's more than I asked for."
He also says that PayPal is "bogged down" by people who "just don't get it" and that the company should be letting go of employees that don't meet high expectations. In an email that Pando Daily acquired yesterday, Agrawal wrote that few people at PayPal "actually want to get stuff done."
Here are some other quotes from the rather hard to decipher audio:
"I think if you were to ask David or Stan or whatever, they would say that I was one of their best people. If I were designing an HR system, the people who were the best people, you don't f--k with them."
"You keep your best people. You want to get those Lamborghinis. You want to clear the [other sh--t] off the road. You want those Lamborghinis screaming down the 280. That's what you want."
According to his recent tweets, Agrawal also hired a marketing lead for his new company on the spot last night, because she was able to find where he and Pegoraro had dinner.
"She is 40 and a college dropout. Highly doubt she would have made it through the interview process at any tech company," he tweeted.
Here's one of Agrawal's latest tweets:
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