Chris Kirchner has been demoted from CEO of the Slync.io-backed Goldman Sachs company.
The CEO of a company funded by Goldman Sachs who flaunted his luxurious lifestyle for months while his staff went without pay has been suspended, Forbes has discovered.
During a virtual all-hands meeting on Monday afternoon, employees of Slync.io, a digital business that offers software to logistics companies, were informed that CEO Chris Kirchner had been placed on administrative leave. According to numerous employees who attended the meeting, Tim Kehoe, the chief of staff who gave the message to the team, will take over as the company’s interim president and will answer directly to the board.
“Whether they are suspended or not, we don’t comment on those still working for us. At this time, that’s all we can say” said Burt White, vice president of sales, marketing, and customer success at Slync, to Forbes. Slync has a bright future. “With Chris, things are as they are; therefore I can’t comment on present workers.”
The business chose not to add more commentary. Forbes’ email to Kirchner’s work addresses requesting a response bounced.
Kirchner “has been suspended as CEO until further notice,” according to a statement from Goldman Sachs spokesperson Mary Athridge to Forbes. As we have always done, “We take our role as board members and investors extremely seriously.”
This week, the company will receive additional funding to address the payroll issue from the investors, led by Goldman Sachs, according to Athridge, who would not specify how much. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the unpaid wages were over $4 million.
Regarding Kirchner’s suspension, Athridge declined to comment.
The action comes in response to a Forbes article last week about Kirchner, who said he had misled the board of Slync about finances and removed personnel who had voiced concerns about a lack of financial openness at the company. The board’s apparent inaction when these executives were fired was also mentioned in the report.
Jim Atwell, a member of the Slync board, has refuted the allegations in the Forbes article from July 20, saying that the company’s annual income is “much more than your information,” although he would not provide a number.
Before founding Slync in 2017, Kirchner, who had previously worked at Best Buy, had overseen what appeared to be an early success, gaining the patronage of industry heavyweights like DHL and Kuehne + Nagel. In subsequent funding rounds led by Blumberg Capital and Goldman Sachs, the company raised $80 million, valuing itself at $240 million.
Kirchner, however, spent much money on his personal projects while the business struggled to expand or secure additional funding. He bought a private jet, expensive cars, a membership to the Vaquero, a prestigious golf club in the Dallas area, and made an unsuccessful bid to purchase Derby County of England. A former Slync employee recently told Forbes that the lifestyle the man was leading “simply didn’t seem real.”