Ebun Okubanjo of Bento will step away from ‘people decisions’, after accusations of toxicity

Omoleye Omoruyi
*Ebun’s story gave people an opportunity to talk about their horrible bosses | *Ebun apologises, saying he thought his actions passed as passion

After Tech Cabal published its story, highlighting cases of allegations of toxicity, Ebun Okubanjo went under fire for several hours. The story was elaborate and included screenshots of conversations between him and his former employees. A video of Ebun exchanging words with a customer at his gym also resurfaced.

The story started a conversation that has yet ended. This gave people the opportunity to talk about their experiences at their workplaces, and how they have had to endure #HorribleBosses because the economy will not exchange pleasantries with an unemployed person.

Nigeria’s startup employees had a short #MeToo moment over workplace abuse.

Ebun’s story included cases of verbal abuse, refusing to grant leave and time off, erratic termination without following due process – basically just deactivating their emails and slack accounts, he was also accused of allegedly telling laid-off employees that they wouldn’t get a job anywhere.

Ex-employees also revealed gaps in Bento’s employment contract, specifically where leave days and time off were concerned. Okubanjo promised employees that they could take time off when they needed it, but Bola*, another ex-employee from the company’s sales team, dispelled that promise as a myth, Tech Cabal reports.

“I can count on one hand how many people took leave during my stay there. Ebun said breaks are for pussies and fuckers, and whoever takes time out of the office for a whole week is a weak member of the team and not needed in the organisation,” said Bola. 

Ebun Okubanjo - Bento

Ebun denied all the allegations but published an apology on Medium, saying he will be stepping down and not make any people decisions at Bento anymore.

It reads in part:

“To everyone who has been on the receiving end of my outburst, either written or verbally — I am sorry. I have some work to do here and there is a lot of room for growth. It will be a lie if I say this is a switch I can make overnight, I would need to learn how to balance passion with empathy. I will get on with doing that work and while I do that, I will step away from all people decisions in the company. Chidozie will take over along with our new head of People — Her arrival could not have been more timely. The country leads will also be instrumental in helping shape a more humane people policy.”

He said he encouraged a culture of all work and it may be because he has no idea how to do anything else but work.

Ebun also wrote of an investigation into the allegations, which he will not be part of.

“Finally to the team. You are an inspiration. There will be an independent investigation that will be led by the board and outside counsel. For obvious reasons, I will not be a part of that. All of these will help us build a better company together.”

Ebun’s story is one in a hundred. Social media is filled with stories of employment contract abuse, and personal attacks at workplaces.

We listed five things to look out for before signing that appointment letter. Let us start from there.

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