Last fall, employees at one of America’s fastest-growing startups began making anxious phone calls. They believed that CEO Vishal Garg—a volatile entrepreneur with a history of disgruntled business partners—had been giving huge amounts of equity to one of his most loyal lieutenants, in a way that violated norms and seemed to defy explanation.
Those employees may have been right.
New public filings, interviews with high-ranking company officials, and internal documents reviewed by The Daily Beast reveal that the executive, Elana Knoller, was given stock options potentially worth tens of millions of dollars. Unlike normal employee packages, it vested immediately. It