Miki Agrawal, the co-founder of heavily marketed period underwear company Thinx, is no longer its CEO, sources tell Jezebel. Agrawal has styled herself as a visionary on all things period-related (the company recently announced plans to start making its own tampons and applicators). We’re told she’s been given the new title of “Chief Vision Officer.”
Thinx is best known to readers of this site for the exuberantly nutty PR emails its former public relations person used to send, and for feuding with the Metropolitan Transit Authority over period-themed subway ads. (Thinx now has a new PR professional, following in the last one’s footsteps: the most recent email from her featured the subject line, “have u ever wanted to play with a tampon going in n’ out of ur vag?”)
Agrawal has quickly made a name for herself as a tech world-flavored disruptor of periods, even as Thinx’s products (absorbent underwear, biodegradable tampons) aren’t quite as big as their hype. Just yesterday she was featured in a profile in Fortune for her newest project: Tushy, “a high-tech bidet attachment.” She was also featured on another website for her various plans to empower menstruating women, including the very laudable Thinx Foundation, which says its first project will be partnering with local NGOs around the world to teach self-defense, menstrual education, and other skills to girls.
But since January, two sources told us, ten people have quit the 30-person company. Between October 2015 and January 2017, six people posted negative reviews to the jobs website Glassdoor, calling Agrawal everything from “unprofessional” to “a bully.” Four positive reviews were also posted to the site, all of them between January 27 and January 30 of this year. Several could be interpreted as stiff advertorials for Agrawal: “I’ve always appreciated how open the communication is to strategize directly with our CEO, Miki, who fearlessly leads our team,” one offers. Every employee was recently interviewed by the board, a source told us.
According to one source, Agrawal told the staff at the all-hands meeting Thursday afternoon that the company is growing quickly and needs a “more experienced CEO.”
Neither Agrawal nor a Thinx spokesperson has yet responded to two requests for comment about her stepping down or what her new responsibilities as “Chief Vision Officer” entail. We’ll update if we hear from them.
Update, 6:15 p.m.:
Agrawal responds via email:
There’s nothing dramatic going on, I’m still the SHE-EO & Co-Founder of THINX. Like every other startup, there’s turnover in the first few years. THINX is no different, we have growing pains too, but now we are on the right track. I wrote this piece today in lieu of International Women’s Day this week. Thanks for your support, Miki
We’ve asked if the “SHE-EO” and CEO are different positions and will update when we hear back.
Note: This post was updated immediately after publication. This is a breaking story and we’ll update as further information becomes available.