Exclusive: CEO Gurbaksh Chahal Fired by RadiumOne Board
According to sources, Gurbaksh Chahal has been fired by the board of RadiumOne, directly related to his conviction for battery and domestic violence.
As I reported earlier, the other directors of the advertising tech company had been mulling what to do about Chahal — who is board chairman — and the controversy sparked by his guilty plea to two misdemeanors related to an incident involving his girlfriend at his San Francisco apartment.
The directors, largely its venture investors, took action last night. The company will announce the dismissal later today, sources said.
Chahal did not step down or offer to, sources added. In fact, he might resist and has significant shares in RadiumOne to mount a challenge.
That’s the tone of a blog post he did today, in which he still called himself the CEO in the present tense.
The vehement defense by Chahal was posted this morning on his website, in which he denied the disturbing charges that have swirled around him that has resulted in a major public debate over his behavior and how a company should deal with it.
In the adamant and sometimes bizarre defense of himself, his post also blamed the police, bloggers and pretty much everyone else. Not so much himself and Chahal also essentially called his girlfriend a prostitute in the post.
Sources with knowledge of the situation said that the reason the board decision took so long is that it is legally complex, due to Chahal’s massive stake in the company that gives him a large amount of control over RadiumOne.
They were also hoping that Chahal would resign voluntarily. No such luck, if you could use that cliche in this ugly situation.
Investors have sunk $34 million into the company and have hoped to take it public next year.
Not enough, it seems. It’s not clear if this sets up a legal challenge by Chahal, who has long held sway over the board. Whether he can be fired at all has been suggested by some, but it looks like the board thinks it has the right to do so.
This is a strange and dramatic story, but more to come, obviously.