Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow may know how to act, but many of her former Goop employees don't believe she knows how to run a company.
According to a bombshell exposé by Business Insider, the 49-year-old and her wellness newsletter-turned-multimillion dollar wellness company have lost at least 140 staffers in the past two years.
Though some of the exits can be attributed to COVID-19-related layoffs, numerous previously salaried Goopers say Paltrow and management are to blame.
Between ex-employees who spoke to Business Insider and reviews found on Glassdoor, the company and its founder/chief executive officer allegedly harbor a toxic work environment with problematic managers.
The outlet reported that among those who have left Goop since September 2019 are a chief content officer, chief financial officer, chief technology officer and chief risk officer.
Former CCO Elise Loehnen – who was Gwyneth's righthand gal and had been with the company since 2014 – stepped down in October 2020, apparently to write a book.
Former CFO Erica Moore left in August in search of self-employment, while former CRO Kimberly Kreuzberger quit in late 2019 for similar reasons.
Former CTO Juan Paul Ramirez exited Goop in May after three-and-a-half years. He didn't start his next gig until July.
Former general counsel Virginia Llewellyn also parted ways from Paltrow.
According to Business Insider, Goop employees previously numbered around 250 people, and ex-staffers believe the issues that allegedly plague the company predated the pandemic.
One told the outlet that Gwyneth "definitely had her favorites" and made it known.
"Sometimes when you have founders who are also CEOs, that passion can be a blind spot," another unnamed former employee said. "Sometimes their ideas fill the room."
Yet several of those alleged "favorites" either quit abruptly or were allegedly "forced out," as ex-staffers believe was the case with Ramirez, who left with "little explanation" and a "vague" one from Paltrow.
Ramirez, however, insisted that his exit was "amicable and well-communicated."
The reviews on Glassdoor are even more brutal.
They reeked of employment "instability," including "lots of random firings" and "a lot of resignations and exits that no one knows about until the person is gone."
One person offered up an explanation for that, saying that "the company is on a 'path to profitability' and likes to trim the fat ad hoc, so job security is never guaranteed – even on top."
As one ex-staffer suggested, "Leadership training is where I'd be spending all my time. Honesty, openness. People avoid conflict because they don't want to hurt people's feelings."
The reviewers recalled being anxious and overworked – which many argued was contradictory to the company's wellness mission – and said their complaints of such were not taken seriously.
The company is allegedly known for having a "blind eye for pain points" and not listening to employees "when they are screaming for support."
"More than once, people during our stand-up [meetings] would ask, 'How would you deal with an employee that's unhappy,' and someone in leadership would just say, 'Well, maybe this just isn't the right company for them,'" said one former staffer.
One went so far as to call Goop "the worst experience I've ever had at a workplace," pointing to "fear-based management," "a clique of OG bullies," "serious micro-management and lack of leadership," "catty women who throw each other under the bus" and "managers who belittle and are condescending due to their own insecurities."
This person went on to say that the company apparently "has a big reputation in Los Angeles for being a toxic work environment."
Another complained of an "exclusive mean girls vibe," while someone else called Goop "a terrible place to work."
"Gwyneth was impossible to get feedback from, but we also needed her approval to move forward," one ex-employee claimed. "It would take her months to give feedback on simple things that should have taken a day and then she wouldn't understand why things took so long."
"Other times she would simply say something was terrible without articulating why she didn't like it," this person went on. "She was also clearly less and less interested in the company as time went on and wanted to spend her days trying on clothes when the company desperately needed a real CEO."
Additionally, Paltrow also allegedly pays her workers below industry standards, as former employees warned others: "Don't expect great pay or stock options."
"Goop needs to acknowledge and appreciate their employees by paying them fairly. It's a no-brainer to keep salaries commensurate with inflation, to start," noted one ex-staffer. "The thought of seriously discussing promotions or raises at goop in general was a laughable one."
One person even told Business Insider that they did not realize they were being underpaid by at least 40 percent until they starting interviewing elsewhere.
Reps for Paltrow have not yet responded to Radar's request for comment.