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What's up with WATT, Pt I (or "What's Wrong with Tech Journalism?")

It's been a while since I covered Energous (whose ticker symbol is WATT . Other posts are here , here , here , here , here , here , and...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Abandon Ship


Today I looked at the LinkedIn profiles of the uBeam staff and was interested to see that Monica Hushen, the CFO, has left the company. Hushen was lauded in the tech press (I won't call it journalism) as a heavyweight and an amazing win for uBeam.

"Perry has hired some hardware industry veterans to whip the business into shape. Former Apple and Palm finance leader Monica Hushen will be uBeam‘s new CFO"

Now I need to first comment, that the engineering team was sorely pissed at the idea that we needed whipped into shape by two people who we felt had no idea what to do at a technical startup in the R&D phase. We were almost as pissed as when another article was placed in Techcrunch talking about uBeam achieving the physically impossible, such as charging through a pocket. In my opinion, the addition of these two "C's" marked the end of any hope of the company achieving anything - I left two weeks after that article was published, and I think history is proving my feeling correct.

But back to Catbert, as she was sometimes referred to. Bizarre that a person so critical to the company, so important, and so knowledgeable as to the state of the company and its dealings would leave, and maybe even leave prior to the 1 year vesting cliff. It's almost as if she has no faith that the company will ever achieve anything of value and it's best to leave now rather than waste time on a sinking ship.

This CFO is leaving at the exact time that, according to numbers published by Mark Suster the lead uBeam investor, that the company needs to start raising their next funding round - around 6 months prior to an estimate of their funds running out.

When I left it was an ugly departure, but was reported to the investors as "the VP Engineering left for personal reasons" - personal reasons being "sick of putting up with this bullshit". I wonder what uBeam's excuse for Hushen will be? "Spending more time with her family", "Having achieved everything she had set out to, it was time to move on to other things", or like me has she left for "personal reasons"? I'm betting on the first.

Note: Since this afternoon, Hushen has relisted herself as working at uBeam on LinkedIn, no doubt someone spotted it and she's trying to dodge the press. But she's left.

Note2: Now LinkedIn has the new position as "CFO at Wonder Workshop".

6 comments:

  1. I'm a member of the tech press but I very much resist the PR industry. If you want to be in touch, contact bdale@observer.com

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