NEW YORK—Screaming at the top of his lungs like a deranged lunatic and drenched in his own blood as well as the blood of his employees, Grind.com CEO Jeff Potkul went berserk Friday and demanded his staff produce more web video content or he would "fucking kill them all," sources at the arts and entertainment website confirmed.
According to staff members, after learning that competitor sites were garnering more video plays per month, the 56-year-old Potkul snapped, let out a violent shriek, and began pounding his fists on his desk and punching his computer monitor until his knuckles were bloody.
"We need more videos!" Potkul reportedly screamed, emerging from his office and glaring directly at each of his employees, who stared back in shock and quiet confusion as the wild-eyed executive assumed a fighter's posture and methodically breathed in and out, punctuating every exhalation with a slight snarl. "Videos with bands! Videos with cool places! Funny videos! Random videos! More web videos! More! More! More!"
"You think I'm joking?" added Potkul, who then grabbed the 3-wood from his golf bag, sprinted across the office toward his senior web producer, jumped onto his desk, and beat him over and over with the club until he lay dead in a puddle of blood. "Anyone else got a problem with making more web videos?"
Throughout the 45-minute tirade, which caused a reported $500,000 in property damage, the crazed CEO kicked down cubicle dividers and whipped staplers at his staff, all the while shrieking, "Celebrities! More videos with celebrities!" In addition, between overturning desks and stomping on computer keyboards, the seething, rabid executive told his employees that if they see something, anything, they had better "get out [their] little fucking cameras, make a fucking video out of it, and put it on the goddamned Internet."
At one point, witnesses said, Potkul rushed to an office window and began banging his head on the glass, opening a gaping wound on his forehead that caused streams of blood to cover his face.
"Video on the Internet is where it's at," Potkul said through gritted teeth as, for reasons that remain unclear, he began to choke himself. "Everyone's doing videos. Everyone!"
With a crimson foam spewing from his mouth each time he shouted the word "viral," Potkul reportedly ordered his staff to form a circle around him, after which he ripped off his shirt and called out the names of employees one by one, urging them to take him on.
"Fucking pussies can't even make more web videos—of course you're too chicken shit to challenge me," said the CEO, who finished each taunt by taking a shard of glass from the shattered conference-room door and slicing his own chest without blinking or flinching. "That's the kind of passion you need to make more videos online. Come on, come at me! Right here, right now!"
As he ran around the office screaming "Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya" in what seemed to be an imitation of a Native American warrior, Potkul often interrupted his wild chant to yell out random media buzzwords such as "social presence," "responsive site," "integration opportunities," and "eight-episode web series."
Toward the end of the verbal and physical onslaught, Potkul relieved his bowels in the middle of the office floor, rubbed his body in the excrement, and told employees that nobody was leaving until there were 40 more videos online.
"I tried to run for the elevator but he caught me," content producer Erica Klein told reporters, adding that she was surprised how quickly Potkul moved. "He grabbed my neck, lifted me off the ground against the wall, and started strangling me. He said he wouldn't let go until I came up with three new original video ideas that would work for BMW's new 'Live Sophisticated' campaign."
"That's when he made me watch him bite his own tongue in half," she added.
According to Grind.com employees, this isn't the first time Potkul has gone berserk. Sources said the CEO once cut off all his clothing with scissors and viciously headbutted each member of his marketing team when he felt the company's Twitter following wasn't strong enough. And in May he lit an intern on fire after overall page views dipped.
"[Potkul] said he didn't care if the new videos were 45-second-long heaping piles of shit, just so long as there were more of them and we could put advertising before, during, and after each clip," said a senior staff member speaking on condition of anonymity. "I mean, I'm down to make more videos, but they're actually pretty hard to do, and we really don't have enough people on staff to do more. If I told him that, though, he'd rip my larynx out with his teeth like he did to Kenny."
As his employees left for the day, an exhausted, out-of-breath Potkul reportedly fell to his knees, looked at the destruction around him, and muttered, "Video on the Internet is very important," over and over and over again until he passed out.