Fab co-founder Bradford Shellhammer, known for his lavish personal life and overseeing a lot of layoffs, has left the building, Forbes reports. This is a bad sign for a company that already had a lot of bad signs.
A Fab rep tells me the following:
Bradford Shellhammer, one of Fab's three co-founders and Chief Design Officer, is moving on to explore other outlets for his boundless curiosity.
While Bradford moves on to new adventures his deep passion for products, for color, for everyday design items, and for fun has been instilled in every member of the Fab team. Our passion for brightening people's lives with design will continue to motivate us as we work with designers to bring Fab customers great products all the time.
Shellhammer, despite Fab's faltering, had a keen design eye—something the entire company is based upon. But he'd also been a booster of Gilt-style flash sales, which proved to be a loser for the company, now remaking itself as an online furniture store. Bradford tried to put a glossy spin on his departure via blog post:
Fab is at a point in its history where I've decided to walk away from the day to day. Though Fab's business model has evolved, the very core of Fab is where it was many years ago, when it was dreamt up by me and Jason in a restaurant in the West Village in the middle of our second bottle of wine. Fab remains set on a mission to brighten people's lives with design. I am a staunch believer in this mission.
But will investors or employees remain such staunch believers? The startup's name has never looked less apt, but at least Shellhammer's last tweet as a Fab exec was absolutely par for the course:
— Bradford Shellhammer (@youngbradford) November 1, 2013
A leader the people could believe in.
Update: A former Fab employee wrote in with the following:
"I'm not surprised at all. I truly believe that he was pushed out like so many other members of Fab were pushed out. They "resigned" with a nice severance package. I think the lay offs hit him hard. I never had an issue with Bradford. Yes, he's flamboyant and says/does things that he probably shouldn't do publicly. But that's him. And Fab was HIS baby, not Jason's. Us "legacy employees" who were let go last month were the heart of Fab and Bradford was the soul. It's truly nothing without him there."