The Barstool Sports CEO expects a lot from her employees. She insists that they consistently keep the company’s website front and center—even at the expense of their personal lives.
Nardini, who has worked for AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft, was recently interviewed for The New York Times “Corner Office” column, which features conversations about “leadership and management”.
“Do everything possible.”
“Corner Office” reporter, Adam Bryant asked Nardini about the feedback she’s gotten from her employees. The CEO was surprisingly candid in her response.
“I get a ton of feedback. I think I’m punishing,” she admitted. “I have a large ability to grind. If I want something or if I believe in something or I think something should be done better, I will push and push until I exhaust people.”
“I really value stamina and drive,” Nardini continued. “I am bad with stagnation and complacency. It’s not just about winning, but did we do everything possible to make something happen?”
“I’m a horrible interviewer.”
But one of Nardini’s casual responses is going viral. The Colby College graduate described herself as “impatient” and told Bryant that she “relies on other people” to help with interviewing.
Nardini added that she appreciates people who have “bootstrapped themselves.” To test for this work ethic, she shared her peculiar hiring strategy.
“Here’s something I do: If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9
Nardini told Bryant that she expects a response “within three hours.”
“It’s not that I’m going to bug you all weekend if you work for me, but I want you to be responsive,” she said. “I think about work all the time. Other people don’t have to be working all the time, but I want people who are also always thinking.”
Some critics think that Nardini’s hiring process goes too far.
When Nardini’s interview went online, Twitter went nuts. Some of the site’s users described the CEO as a “horrible boss,” and criticized Nardini as an example of a boss who expects her employees to work constantly—even on the weekends.
That’s when another Barstool executive stepped in.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Portnoy, who refers to himself as “El Presidente,” defended his CEO and her hiring strategy. As Portnoy puts it, his team “has outworked the **** out of the rest of the internet and we continue to do so.”
“Our success isn’t an accident,” he said. “It’s not overnight. Their failure isn’t an accident. The blog never sleeps and neither do we. Empires and Nantucket Houses don’t get built by complaining about working on the weekends. They get build brick by brick, minute by minute, blog by blog.”[sic]
In Nardini’s defense, Barstool Sports has been valued at $15 million, so obviously, the website is doing something right. Still, what’s the point of building an “empire” if you never have time to do anything else?