Corporate America’s top 10 blunders of 2021


Salon: Much was made of the “death” of political comedy during the Trump years. Satire and parody, many argued, need foils of real-world respectability. And Donald Trump, the GOP’s new lodestar, has pretty much dispensed with the conventions of political decorum. But while postured propriety may have lost its luster in the political realm, it remains alive and well in the private sector, making Corporate America’s blunders all the more visible.

2021 saw endless gaffes and gaucheries from powerful American corporations. Some were caught red-handed in embarrassing and nefarious schemes never meant for the public eye. Others waged embarrassing public relations offensives that earned unintended blowback. To critical onlookers, all of the failed contrivances stand together as one big comedy of terrors.

Here are the private sector’s top ten fuck-ups of 2021:

10. Ozy Media’s co-founder impersonates YouTube executive in meeting with Goldman Sachs

In February, executives from Ozy, a digital media company whose financial practices have been widely scrutinized, were closing in on a $40 billion cash injection from Goldman Sachs when they held a videoconference to hammer out the details of the deal. As The New York Times‘ Ben Smith would later go on to describe, the Feb. 2 meeting was a bizarre mix of technical difficulties and deception.

During the meeting, Alex Piper, the head of unscripted programming for YouTube Originals, was supposedly having technical difficulties on Zoom, so all parties switched over to teleconference. Once the switch was made, Goldman’s executives heard from a man, apparently impersonating Piper, who gave a rapturous review of Ozy’s management. After circling back with YouTube, Goldman quickly realized that the man they’d heard from was Samir Rao, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Ozy itself.  Read more..


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