Carlos Watson, CEO and co-founder of Ozy, retracted his initial statements and said his company is no longer shutting down, CNN reported.
Watson, a former contributor on MSNBC and an entrepreneur, originally said Ozy was closing its operations after The New York Times published a report detailing its alleged shady business practices. The report accused Watson and his business partner Samir Rao of impersonating a YouTube executive during a call with Goldman Sachs.
Despite the former TV host attributing the incident to a “mental health crisis,” a statement shared with CNN on Friday stated that it was “with the heaviest of hearts” the company would be “closing Ozy’s doors.”
He added that he didn’t know Rao would be misleading Goldman Sachs executives, saying “it’s sad. It’s difficult and it was wrong.”
“Obviously, they figured it out very quickly,” he continued.
But now Watson is announcing that Ozy is “going to open for business,” Today reported.
“This is our Lazarus moment, if you will. This is our Tylenol moment. Last week was traumatic. It was difficult, heartbreaking in many ways,” he said.
“We’re back. It’s not going to be easy, but I hope if people now know the name Ozy, I hope they’ll sign up for our newsletters,” he continued.
Watson said he takes accountability for the company’s direction, placing some of the blame on marketing and mismanagement of data. He also denied any allegations of illegal practices.
Since the release of The New York Times report, CNN reported that three of the company’s five board members have resigned.
Employees were also told they would be receiving their final paycheck and had lost access to their work email accounts. Other staffers revealed an abusive workplace environment with 18-hour shifts and “cult” like practices.
Despite the allegations, Watson continued his press tour, speaking with radio show hosts on The Breakfast Club and defending his company, Gawker reported.