In May 2018, I reported for TMO on a popular new quiz app. HQ Trivia raked in users and soared up the App Store chart. Since then, tragedy has struck. CEO Colin Kroll was found dead, aged just 34. Techcrunch reported that current CEO, Mr. Kroll’s co-founder Rus Yusupov, is battling plummeting ratings and a staff mutiny.
By February 2019, HQ’s staff was fed up. Two sources confirm that 20 of the roughly 35 employees signed a letter asking the board to remove Yusupov and establish a new CEO. With HQ’s download rate continuing to sink, they feared he’d run the startup into the ground. One source suggested Yusupov might rather have seen the whole startup come crashing down with the blame placed on the product than have it come to light that he played a large hand in the fall. The tone of the letter, which was never formally delivered but sources believe the board knew of, wasn’t accusatory but a plea for transparency about the company’s future and the staff’s job security.
Check It Out: Tragedy and Mutiny at HQ Trivia