Strange times at DE Shaw. It was only last year that Daniel Michalow, a managing director was forced out due to allegations of sexual improprieties with female employees. His sarcastic retort to the assertions didn’t help. The supposed predatory behavior he allegedly exhibited might now explain the actions of his former employer.
Already known for its eccentric ways, DE Shaw is now on an Orwellian quest for loyalty by requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements for reasons that are not entirely clear. The absence of which will guarantee their termination. The fulfillment of which might not guarantee their future anyway. Either way it then sets off its own twisted tale of reasoning that no one can understand or offer to decipher at least not publicly.
The intrigue only deepens when one considers that the deadline for signing is the same day that Daniel Michalow can start hiring DE Shaw employees for his own device. But will he want to and why would DE Shaw or anyone else care?
With over fifty billion dollars under management using advanced artificial intelligence, it is a rather peculiar situation. Why would such a high-tech giant like DE Shaw want such agreements anyway? Why would DE Shaw care if employees join Daniel Michalow on his new adventures whatever they are? That’s where the paranoid meets reality.
Will employees walk away with a guaranteed severance and miss the entertainment or will they stay for an uncertain future. By requiring a non-compete agreement, DE Shaw has sown seeds of doubt about its future.
By creating a controversy where none existed before, the questions about its intentions only mount. DE Shaw also has investors to answer to. The enormous amount of capital that DE Shaw is sitting on could easily disappear if enough doubt erupts. Will current or future investors want to leave their money with a firm known for its secrecy?
The current deadline imposed could backfire. DE Shaw management insists it is only following industry standards when requiring the non-compete agreements. But what if some or even many leave and go with Daniel Michalow or another firm? On the other hand, what if Daniel Michalow hires one or more females to work for him in his new endeavor?