Even Better.com CEO’s lick-ribbon guy the enemy

Quick, name your primary advantage in business. No one wants to be called a bully. We’re all made of shaky stuff, get it?

Better.com’s Bryan Smith is pretty sure he can work his magic on one thing: himself. He took this perfectly legal business idea and turned it into an ugly personal war. And, we need not further explain the gravity of his behavior.

Smith tells his staff that they’re “prejudiced” because they’re Muslims. He goes around with a gun, apparently disguised as a diplomat or surgeon, like he’s the next real-life Hannibal Lecter. In an email blast in March, he’s even more explicit, promising to fire “anyone that is involved with this intolerant culture.” Really, this, guys?

Now that he’s been named a controversial figure by Slate, Smith is doubled down. Take this exchange between him and company VP Kevin Rich.

“Before I was fired, I didn’t have a strong email signature or handle my emails with care,” Rich tells Slate. “He ended up firing me.” Later, during an interview, Rich says he “didn’t complain” about having been fired; rather, “I did not deserve” it.

Neither could the company, naturally. “Nobody deserved to lose their job,” co-founder Andrew Revkin adds.

His job is to move on from a moment of personal strife that left him “sore.” That’s fine, as his comments indicate. It also gives credence to Slate’s position that Better.com is actually better at running business than fighting the law. (The chief of an electronic patient-information firm filed suit against Better.com over the law.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Even Better.com CEO’s Lick-Ribbon Guy the Enemy

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