Ex-CEO of RadiumOne Lashes out at Board, Bloggers After Firing

chahal-radiumone1
Gurbaksh Chahal

After being fired by the board of advertising tech company RadiumOne for pleading guilty to domestic violence charges, the company’s founder Gurbaksh Chahal accused the board of betraying him and blamed social media bloggers for his demise. The board recently announced in an email statement that they had fired Chahal, RadiumOne’s acting CEO and chairman.

Earlier this week, Chahal pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and battery after allegedly hitting his girlfriend 117 times within 30 minutes. Forty-five felony charges were dropped due to the inadmissibility of videotaped evidence.

The company’s all-male board had been trying to understand whether removal of Chahal was possible after the felony charges were dropped and Chahal refused to step down. As Re/code reported:

Certainly, the violence at issue in this case is adding another impossible-to-ignore layer of controversy to an already heated conversation about the role of women in Silicon Valley, particularly how few of them are found at the top echelons of tech companies.

After denying the charges on Twitter (then deleting the tweets), Chahal vehemently defended himself in a blog post on Saturday in which he refers to himself as the RadiumOne’s CEO and to his girlfriend as a prostitute (because her “unprotected sex for money with other people” is the reason why Chahal’s temper “got the better” of him).
“But I didn’t hit her 117 times, injure her or cause any trauma as the UCSF medical reports clearly document. This was all overblown drama because it generates huge volumes of page views for the media given what I have accomplished in the valley.”

Chahal said the “DA’s office recognized they had no case and offered me a misdemeanor plea,” and that he accepted the plea after “soul searching” with the belief that it was best for his family and supporters, adding that had he continued to fight the charges he would have “prevailed” because the charges were “overblown and grossly exaggerated.”

TechCrunch announced on Friday that they are dropping RadiumOne as a sponsor for their Disrupt New York conference. The RadiumOne statement said the company’s COO, Bill Lonergan, will take over as CEO of immediately.

Chahal is apparently still using the RadiumOne Twitter account, accusing the board this morning of betraying him and Re/code’s Kara Swisher and others of being negligent journalists:

 

Re/code first reported the board’s decision to fire Chahal.

 

“While, I had full intentions of getting fully exonerated of these charges, that would require me to go through trial and waste another 1 year of my life,” wrote Chahal.

This is part of Chahal’s post entitled “Judgement Day: The Court of Public Opinion” in response to his dismissal by the board and the social media bloggers who covered the story.

This week, social media became the court of public opinion and decided to grow a life of its own. Similar to the Mozilla CEO debacle, each day-by-day it got worse. People can’t look at the facts in 140 characters so they start to believe all of the falsified exaggerated allegations. They can only choose to hate. Prominent social media bloggers such as Kara Swisher turned this into a social issue. That ended up making things go viral.
 
On Wednesday, I received an email from Robin Murray, one of my board members, with the following message. “Been thinking some more. Absolutely don’t do anything. Let the haters hate ad move on. This will blow over very quickly and we focus on the IPO.  Don’t let them get to you. Don’t respond.  I know it sucks but i think this is the right way fwd.  Stay strong amigo. I feel for you.”
 

Surprisingly enough, 48 hours later, the Internet continued to show its hateful nature and they called a special board meeting. In that special board meeting, they asked for my resignation as Chairman & CEO, when I declined to do, they fired me. Even though, I only accepted this misdemeanor plea under their guidance. Is this what real entrepreneurism is about? Is this what venture capitalism is about?  Not to forget, in my last startup I made these same individuals over 800% on their investment? Whatever happened to real ethics? What happened to integrity? Whatever happened supporting your CEO during the tough times knowing the truth? Or is just a fabrication of today’s society of greed at all costs.

Read Chahal’s full statement here.

Featured image credit: www.sfgate.com
Image Credit: RadiumOne

Update: Chahal deleted the posts and tweets regarding the firing. You can still read his posts here and here.

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest MarketingPin your way to a wider audience! Starting December 1, work with the VP of Marketing at SheKnows to learn how to leverage Pinterest for your brand. In this course, you'll learn how to create a Pinterest Playbook to develop and measure your marketing strategy, grow a follower base, run an effective contest, and stay updated on the best practices for this platform. Register now!