Female founders of buzzy startups Glossier, Away, and The Wing rally behind Outdoor Voices' recently ousted CEO on Instagram as she speaks out against an 'unsettling trend'
Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Inc
- Tyler Haney, founder and former CEO of Outdoor Voices, is speaking out in the aftermath of her recent ousting and in response to reports describing her as "mercurial" and "difficult."
- The 31-year-old took to Instagram shortly after the New York Times published an explosive report on the company's downfall on Tuesday. Haney's post has drawn the support of fellow female founders including Glossier's Emily Weiss, The Wing's Audrey Gelman, and Away's Jen Rubio.
- "There is an unsettling trend lately to interview ex-employees of female-founded companies and report their claims either at face value or without any context," Haney wrote in the post. "These are trends that will only serve to drive women back out of the board room."
- The company did not address Business Insider's questions about Haney's specific claims, pointing instead to a statement it made previously on February 25.
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Two weeks after Tyler Haney was ousted as chief executive of Outdoor Voices, the buzzy athletic wear company she started in 2012, the founder is speaking out against reports describing her as "mercurial" and "difficult."
Haney took to Instagram to defend herself against what she called a "one-sided narrative," in a post coming shortly after an explosive New York Times report that detailed the downfall of "the startup darling." In her caption, Haney wrote that she "experienced both gender and generational differences firsthand" that led to misunderstandings she found difficult to manage.
"There is an unsettling trend lately to interview ex-employees of female-founded companies and report their claims either at face value or without any context," Haney wrote. "These are trends that will only serve to drive women back out of the board room."
The post quickly drew the attention of several fellow female startup founders - including Glossier's Emily Weiss, The Wing's Audrey Gelman, and Away's Jen Rubio - who took to the comments section in an outpouring of support.
"Ty what you've built is amazing," Weiss wrote. "One of my all time favorite brands. Huge respect."
The company did not address Business Insider's questions about Haney's specific claims, pointing instead to a statement it made previously on February 25.
"We respect her choice and wish her the best," the company said. "As the founder of our company and a creative visionary, she brought Outdoor Voices to an important stage in our evolution. Our focus remains on the future of Outdoor Voices and doing what's best for our company and our team."
Haney first announced in February that she was stepping down as CEO, part of a deal that would position Cliff Moskowitz as interim chief executive, allowing her to stay on as founder and maintain her seat on the board.
However, just days later, Haney announced she would exit the company completely, in a "personal decision to resign from Outdoor Voices," the company said in a statement to Business Insider's Hayley Peterson in February. The company also decided to "eliminate a small number of positions," a spokesperson said at the time.
The New York Times piece sheds additional light on animosity between Haney and Mickey Drexler - the former CEO of Gap and J.Crew who served as an integral investor and chairman of Outdoor Voices when he came aboard in 2017 - and sales woes that contributed to forcing Haney out. In January, Outdoor Voices was valued at $40 million, down from $110 million in 2018, according to the article.
In her post, Haney said she wished she was "more equipped for the trials and tribulations of being a manager of people." She noted that as a result of a non-disclosure agreement she signed while leaving the company, she has not been able to share her story "in full."
"I believed in zigging when others zagged and we built a beautiful, strong #doingthings community with a powerful mindset that moves people by doing so," she wrote. "This approach was uncomfortable for some especially those who had done it one way for a long time and I understand and appreciate that."
You can read the entire caption in her post, below.
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