A well-known headhunting firm, which for years had been trying to get journalists to work for Ozy Media, sent a remorseful email — obtained by Semafor's Ben Smith — to a recruiting target last week, lamenting that "the truth of who and what OZY Media is under the leadership of Carlos Watson is in direct opposition to the presence we want to have both personally and professionally."
Ozy founder Carlos Watson was arrested on fraud charges last month.
I wanted to circle back since our last conversation about the job opportunity I shared at OZY Media. As you may or may not be aware, Carlos Watson was arrested on 2/23 and has been arraigned for several charges.
As I shared during our first conversation - we have been recruiting for OZY since before the original bad press in 2021. We have been in constant discussions with Carlos about the state of his company. When we officially re-engaged in several searches for OZY starting August 2022, we did so with good faith understanding from OZY that all legal issues had been settled. We had even spoken to employees who had stuck around during the claims and they too felt confident of the company's reputation moving forward. We had placed people there, and their thinking corroborated ours—that the past was behind them. As such, we shared that message with you.
As facts are revealed, it is apparent our good faith was not well-founded. As an organization with over 25 years' experience in the media industry, we pride ourselves on working with well-respected organizations that present fruitful career options for the candidates in our network. The truth of who and what OZY Media is under the leadership of Carlos Watson* is in direct opposition to the presence we want to have both personally and professionally.
I, along with my entire team, wanted to take the opportunity to reach out and say how upset we are regarding the current situation. We apologize for presenting this opportunity. As of February 23, 2023, we have officially cut ties with OZY Media and will not engage with them in the future.
It is our hope that this misstep will not tarnish my and [redacted] reputation in your mind, and that you will be willing to engage in future discussions about other career opportunities. As always, I am open to connecting at any time to talk about your career or answer your questions.
*Carlos Watson remains innocent until proven guilty