The constant fines and legal struggles finally seem to be taking a toll on Clearview AI. The company has tried to paint a picture of business as usual, even while staring down multi-million dollar fines in places like the UK and Italy, and while settling a lawsuit with the ACLU.
However, the latest employment news points to at least some level of turmoil behind that slick façade. Reuters is reporting that the company las laid off much of its sales team, and that two of its top executives have left the company. Chris Metaxas and Devesh Ashra were only with the company for about a year, signing on last May as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, respectively.
Metaxas has confirmed his departure. Ashra has thus far declined to comment, though his LinkedIn profile now states that he has moved on to a job at Credit Suisse. Both have also been removed from the Clearview masthead.
For his part, Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That is trying to paint the news as a necessary part of the growth process. He did not provide any concrete details about the number of people affected and their roles within the company. Instead, he stated only that the layoffs are part of a broader strategy to reduce costs and make the business more efficient.
In its ACLU settlement, Clearview AI was barred from selling access to its extensive facial recognition database to entities in the private sector. The company is still allowed to do business with government agencies and law enforcement, though many of the staff who were let go were working directly with those public-sector clients. The company had roughly 50 employees as of February of this year.
Clearview has recently tried to market itself as a face-matching service comparable to other onboarding and authentication platforms. The company’s data collection practices remain controversial, and Clearview itself has been blocked from several countries after running afoul of various privacy laws.
June 24, 2022 – by Eric Weiss