Former Ozy Editor Suggests It Was Carlos Watson Who Impersonated Google Exec on Investment Call (Video)
Several insiders are questioning who actually spoke with Goldman Sachs, former editor at large Eugene S. Robinson tells TheWrap-Up podcast
Previously, an individual with knowledge of Watson’s thinking told TheWrap that Watson was not on the call, and that he reacted the same day, after Goldman Sachs reached out to him to flag their suspicions. The FBI is currently investigating the incident, the Times reported.
But Robinson said that Watson and Rao typically took investment calls together in the Ozy conference room at the Mountain View office.
Sources told Times reporter Ben Smith there was something strange about the voice that presented the glowing reviews to the investors — it sounded like it was altered.
In response, Watson cited this incident as a mental health crisis for his COO, and that Rao had since gotten treatment and returned to work after that.
The Zoom call took place in February as Goldman Sachs was closing a $40 million round of investment in Ozy, a nine-year-old media venture based in Mountain View. The video conference was supposedly between Piper, YouTube’s head of unscripted programming for YouTube Originals, and the Goldman Sachs asset management team.
Less than two weeks ago, Ozy was also exposed for inflating metrics on audience and traffic and making false claims about its shows, partnerships and investors over the years. Four days after the devastating report, the company board said Ozy was shutting down on a Friday. But by Monday, Watson reappeared on air saying Ozy was relaunching.
A rep for Goldman Sachs also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The full podcast will post on Friday.
Lawrence Yee contributed to this report.
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