Quirky founder Ben Kaufman is no longer CEO of the beleaguered invention company, according to a blog post on the company’s website Friday.
Chief Financial Officer Ed Kremer will serve as the new CEO, effective immediately. No word was given as to whether Kaufman stepped down voluntarily.
The New York City-based startup, which opened a customer service call center in Schenectady last spring, is in the midst of major downsizing. This week, news came out that it would be shedding 109 employees from its corporate headquarters over the next few weeks to focus time and resources on its connected-home platform spinoff, Wink.
“In light of our ongoing strategy to focus our efforts and resources on Wink, our founder, Ben Kaufman, will no longer serve as the CEO of Quirky. Ben has always been, and continues to be, deeply committed to the spirit and values of Quirky’s community of creative people around the world, as well as its inventors and its partners. Ben continues to believe in Quirky’s core mission to make invention accessible and believes that mission will live on. Effective immediately, current Chief Financial Officer Ed Kremer will be the CEO.”
On Twitter, Kaufman said he had left both Quirky and Wink, adding “Everyone is in good hands.”
The Daily Gazette reported this week on the company’s troubles both downstate and here in Schenectady. Current and former employees had expressed concerns over the company’s management, and questioned frivolous purchases and a sometimes out-of-hand party culture on company grounds. The Schenectady team was downsized from a high of 150 employees earlier this year to a core team of 72, according to a Wink spokesman.
A few weeks ago, Kaufman told Fortune magazine his company was out of money. He later clarified that he had about $12 million in the bank and a few rescue possibilities that could include fundraising to keep both Quirky and Wink afloat, or he could sell one or both companies