“PAC Man” Harder’s Legacy: Blue Apron

“It’s a big company for me… it was a great thing for me to be able to build and have existing.” (Josh Harder, 26 July 2017)

Blue Apron’s beginnings were riddled with OSHA violations, numerous calls to law enforcement, and class action lawsuits. Between August 2015 and September 2016, the company was found to be in violation of more than 10 OSHA regulations and had the distinction of having the “most OSHA violations in the fast-growing, $5 billion meal-kit startup industry, and among the most in perishable prepared-food manufacturing in California.” The company was forced to pay fines for these violations, including many repeat violations, and an incident involving a forklift accident.

In 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against Blue Apron alleging that the company “failed to adequately disclose material information, misrepresented its challenges with customer retention, delayed orders, and reduced ad spend,” leading to significant losses for shareholders.

Immediately prior to his election, Josh “PAC Man” Harder worked at Bessemer Venture Partners, a $4 billion global venture capital firm. Initially hired in the firm’s New York office in 2014, Harder moved to San Francisco in 2016 and was promoted to Vice President where he was charged with “work(ing) closely with BVP’s investing partners to identify entrepreneurial opportunities in mobile, telecom, infrastructure and enterprise applications,” according to a press release dated September 21, 2016.

A trail of layoffs and workplace abuse follow many of Bessemer’s questionable investments throughout Josh Harder’s tenure.
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