Why The CEO Of Zenefits Had A ‘Tantrum’ And Told A Qualified Applicant To Work For Google Or Uber Instead

One of the biggest new start-up companies is Zenefits, a business that provides cloud-based software to companies managing human resources and healthcare coverage. But despite Zenefits’ recent success, the company’s CEO Parker Conrad was recently seen encouraging a potential employee to work for either Uber or Google, instead of Zenefits.

According to Business Insider, a qualified engineer applying for a position at Conrad’s company posted a question to Quora, asking if he should work at Zenefits or Uber to start his career. Parker Conrad surprised everyone when he responded directly with a curt reply, “Definitely not Zenefits.”

The Zenefits CEO then said that he was revoking the job offer from the engineer entirely, and later edited his response to leave that part off.


It seems that the Zenefits CEO was most annoyed by the fact that the engineer claimed that his ultimate ambition was to work for Google or Apple in the “distant future.” It could also have been the list of cons in the pros and cons that the applicant posted about Zenefits that set the CEO off.

“My biggest problem with Zenefits is that it isn’t a buzzword like Uber,” he wrote. “Most people won’t know what Zenefits is (or so I think). I think that this isn’t as exciting a brand name to have on your resume when applying to the likes of Google.”

According to Quartz, Parker Conrad had some more harsh words for the potential Zenefits employee as well, encouraging him to work for a company other than Zenefits, because it was obvious he was not thrilled by the idea of working for a place without more notoriety.

“Mostly, it seems like where you really want to work is Google… You should just apply there. If you’re able to pass our engineering interview, I’m pretty sure you could get a job there… We [Zenefits] don’t have terribly high regard for ppl who would choose where to work based on ‘buzzwords’ and how big a brand it is (or simply to position themselves for later in their career).”

Many people responded to the Zenefits CEO’s scathing advice, calling it a “tantrum.” A mobile app developer told the engineer, “The CEO revoking your offer after this perfectly reasonable question makes it sound like a bad place to work… Lack of humility is a bad signal.”

What do you think about the Zenefits CEO’s response? Was it an overreaction, or did the engineer ruin his chances?

For more on Zenefits, read about how the company raised $500 million after Zenefits was valued at $4.5 billion.

[Image credit: Getty]