RadiumOne and Gurbaksh Chahal issued a joint statement today in order "to bring an end to all disputes they have had." RadiumOne fired Chahal as CEO after he pled guilty to domestic violence. Chahal threatened to sue his board for encouraging him to take a plea rather than fight the 45 felony counts he was facing in court so that the company could file for an IPO.
The charges were based on footage that allegedly showed him hitting his girlfriend 117 in half an hour, which was ruled inadmissible. After the plea, Chahal wrote a series of unhinged blog posts and tweets insisting that he had been victimized. In order to appease Chahal, RadiumOne sticks to the same line that Chahal was the injured party:
The Board knows that many people, including Gurbaksh and his family, have suffered tremendously. The Board did not intend to hurt Gurbaksh or his family by its decision, and recognizes that Gurbaksh's termination made an already difficult situation for Gurbaksh and his family worse.
Although Chahal was ousted as CEO—a decision made difficult by the amount of equity in the company he had as the founder—he retained his board seat. He's been sending emails from board members congratulating him after the plea to various news outlets. In the since-deleted announcement about his new startup, Gravity4, Chahal threatened to release "hundreds of other documents providing perspective on the greed, deception, and betrayal behind my termination." Considering that Chahal's board only soured on him after public outcry, he may well have some damning evidence.
Chahal's post included a link to a Dropbox with select emails from his case, including congratulatory and supportive emails from his board. It also, interestingly, included an email that board member Steve Westly sent to former San Francisco Mayor and California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, requesting Brown speak to the district attorney about the case — and making note that RadiumOne could not file for an IPO and create more jobs until the case was resolved. In his blog post, Chahal wrote of Brown that "the board was pressing him on my personal matter."
Though it's not explicitly stated here, the language suggests that this could be connected to some undisclosed settlement behind the scenes, such as RadiumOne agreeing to compensate Chahal for his termination.
Here is the joint statement:
From its inception in 2009, RadiumOne grew tremendously, and quickly became profitable and valuable, under the leadership of its founder and last CEO, Gurbaksh Chahal. The business priority last year was to continue to build a great company and prepare it for a potential IPO. When allegations were brought against Gurbaksh in August 2013, the Board maintained full support of an expedited closure of the legal process. RadiumOne board members along with many others supported Gurbaksh's decision to accept a misdemeanor plea instead of continuing the long court process for full acquittal for the sake of the company, its employees, and its customers.
The Board had always intended Gurbaksh to lead the company, and recognizes the enormous contributions he has made to RadiumOne. The Board knows that many people, including Gurbaksh and his family, have suffered tremendously. The Board did not intend to hurt Gurbaksh or his family by its decision, and recognizes that Gurbaksh's termination made an already difficult situation for Gurbaksh and his family worse.
Gurbaksh accepts the Board's statement. To the Board and the hardworking, dedicated employees that have helped RadiumOne become the force that it is today, Gurbaksh extends his best.
Both the Board and Gurbaksh are thankful to have had this opportunity to resolve their disputes. Gurbaksh wishes the company the continued success that he knows is possible, and RadiumOne wishes Gurbaksh success in his pursuit of new opportunities.
This is a breaking news post and we will update as we learn more. RadiumOne has not returned a request for comment sent earlier this afternoon.
[Image via Getty]