Yelp insiders describe aggressive and misleading sales tactics as employees prey on small businesses during the pandemic

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Read on for on Yelp insiders describing misleading sales tactics, a messy exit at Vista Equity Partners, and employees at travel media company Skift speaking out

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Polls this morning show Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in the final few days of the race for the White House, with a WSJ/NBC poll showing Biden up by 10 points among voters nationally, and a New York Times/Sienna poll showing Biden ahead in four key swing states. You can get the latest news ahead of the election right here

Here’s what’s trending on Insider right now:

Yelp insiders describe misleading sales tactics

From Rob Price:

Current and former Yelp employees said they have felt pressured by the company to use misleading sales tactics.

Business Insider spoke to 21 current or former Yelp workers about the company’s hyper-aggressive approach to sales and its high-pressure corporate culture. 

Some sources said they knowingly sold to small business owners who they didn’t think understood what they were buying, saw colleagues act in misleading ways, and regularly heard complaints from business owners about unexpected bills.

Since the pandemic closed Yelp’s offices, sales calls largely haven’t been recorded, prompting concerns about sales reps’ conduct without oversight.

In a statement, Yelp said that it requires “employees to behave in a professional manner and to follow our policies and procedures,” and takes disciplinary action against workers who are unethical.

Read the full story here:

A messy exit at Vista Equity Partners

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Vista Equity Partner founder Robert Smith and president Brian Sheth

From Dakin Campbell and Casey Sullivan:

Vista Equity Partners founder Robert Smith and president Brian Sheth are locked in negotiations over Sheth’s exit from the private-equity firm after Smith’s admission to years of tax evasion, according to people familiar with their relationship.

The two have worked together at Vista for more than two decades, turning Vista into a private-equity powerhouse. But once Smith made it clear to Sheth that he intended to remain at the firm despite signing a non-prosecution agreement that would publicly detail his past behavior, the younger man began to explore an exit, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. 

Sheth believes that with Smith at the helm, Vista will struggle to attract new money, one of the people said. He has also come to believe that Smith misled him and others at Vista about the seriousness of the government’s action, adding to a breakdown in their relationship, the person said.

Now, advisors for both men and Vista stakeholder Dyal Capital Partners are looking to hammer out an exit deal.

Read the full story here;

Skift employees speak out

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From Madeline Stone:

Business Insider spoke with three current and 13 former employees of Skift, the travel-media company founded by Rafat Ali and Jason Clampet in 2012.

Many of them said there were times when women felt uncomfortable and mistreated in the workplace.

They said Ali was an unpredictable leader who would at times take out his frustration on employees, particularly women.

In May, Skift settled a lawsuit brought by its former vice president of marketing, who alleged that she experienced gender-based harassment, bullying, and discrimination during her time at the company.

A Skift representative said: “When you look at the data, it’s clear that Skift is actually an anti-racist company. We’re also anti-sexist. And anti-ageist. And anti-privilege.”

Read the full story here:

ICYMI: Exxon slashes jobs

From Benji Jones

Exxon on Thursday said it would cut as many as 1,900 jobs in the US, according to a presentation seen by Business Insider.

The oil giant plans to reduce its global workforce by 15% by the end of 2022. That amounts to 14,000 contractor and employee roles.

The US cuts will be both voluntary and involuntary, largely affecting workers at Exxon’s campus in Houston and office in Hughes Landing, Texas.

Read the full story here:

An invitation: How to control your money

Following discussions about planning and investing, the Master Your Money Live Digital Bootcamp series continues with “How to control your money so it doesn’t control you,” on Tuesday, November 17 at noon ET.

The event will focus on strategies for thriving financially and is part of Business Insider’s Master Your Money Live Digital Bootcamp series, presented by Fidelity.

Register here. 

Here are some headlines from the past week you might have missed. 

— Matt

15 top talent managers helping micro influencers land brand deals and grow their businesses on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok

Domino’s Pizza plans to drop its ad agency of 13 years in what would be a big hit to holding company MDC Partners

These are the 24 hottest edtech startups in Europe, according to the VCs backing them through COVID-19

The founder of a volatility-hedging program that gained 3,700% in the March crash says ‘the opportunity is ripe’ for another chaotic market event — and shares how investors can take advantage of it

Quibi poached top talent from Netflix, Snap, and Hulu. Meet 9 leaders and content execs who are now free agents as the startup winds down.

WeWork is demanding overdue rent from hundreds of small businesses and threatening to send them to collections agencies if they don’t pay up

How JPMorgan’s Kristin Lemkau is planning to turbocharge the firm’s $500 billion wealth business, from a rebrand and ramping up advisor training to new tech

Nordstrom covered health insurance for furloughed workers. Now it wants them to pay it back as Americans’ savings are dwindling to $0.

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