David Sacks parachuted into troubled startup Zenefits to get it back on track - ethically and in terms of revenue. Now he resigned the hands-on leadership position of chief executive officer to become the less-demanding chairman.
The reason, reports USA Today, could be that he will pitch in with the transition for the incoming Trump Administration.
Sacks has been a long-time friend of early Trump supporter Peter Thiel. It is Silicon Valley's Thiel who is creating the kind of tech mindset in Trumpville which contrasts with that in the Obama Administration and the supporters of Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Zenefits, like Theranos, had been a darling of investors and the media. Then things blew up.
Also, it has set aggressive revenue goals it couldn't meet.
More recently, the state of Washington halted its practice of giving companies free human resources software. That was ruled by the insurance commissioner to be an extreme incentive that impeded competition.
Zenefits compromised by agreeing to charge $5 per employee for its use. The startup makes its money through commissions on the insurance policies those companies buy. That business model can be lucrative since every time the policy is renewed the commission kicks in again.
Zenefits is not out of the woods. This latest change for it could affect its ability to turn itself around.
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