Here’s Proof Your Startup Needs HR

The founder of Thinx has lost control of the period-underwear company largely because of one serious blind spot: human resources.

As the startup expanded and pulled in tens of millions in revenue, then-Chief Executive Officer Miki Agrawal never developed HR policies or hired an HR manager.

Agrawal is out as CEO as of earlier this month, soon before Racked published a story in which current and former Thinx employees complained of low pay, sparse benefits, and erratic behavior by management. Suddenly a company that had touted itself as a champion of feminism stood accused of mistreating its largely female workforce.

In a personal essay she posted Friday on Medium, Agrawal called HR a “problem area” that she “didn’t take time to think through” and cited the lack of an HR apparatus to explain the absence of competitive benefits and pay. She didn’t address employees’ complaints to Racked about her management.


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