FORTUNE — Ad technology company RadiumOne this afternoon announced that it has fired founder, chairman and CEO Gurbaksh “G” Chahal, more than a week after Chahal pled guilty to two misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an August 2013 fight with his ex-girlfriend. Chief operating officer Bill Lonergan has been named CEO, effectively immediately (although the change is still not reflected on the RadiumOne website).
We first reported on this situation last Friday, opining that Chahal could no longer serve as the CEO of a company with aspirations of going public.
At the time, it was unclear if the company’s board of directors had the legal ability to fire Chahal, who was believed to be RadiumOne’s majority shareholder. Now the question is: If the board had the legal ability to fire Chahal (which I’m being told it did), why did it wait for more than a week to do so? Would it have taken such action had there not been an eventual social media firestorm, and an ensuing loss of certain business. Shouldn’t a plan have been in place dating back to the original arrest? Were they simply hoping that Chahal would resign, or that Lonergan would turn quicker on his longtime mentee (the two worked together previously at BlueLithium, which was bought by Yahoo for around $300 million)?
None of the four venture capital directors returned requests for comment, or have said anything publicly about the situation (today’s press release includes no quotes).
It also remains unclear how Chahal has reacted to this decision. Early this morning, he wrote a blog post that was heavy on self-pity and short on remorse. He also referred to himself in the present tense as CEO of RadiumOne, even though the board vote has already occurred. A source familiar with the situation says that Chahal was present for at least the beginning of the board meeting on Saturday night, although it’s unclear if he stuck around until it wrapped up at around 1:30am Sunday morning. The board also is said to be confident that it is on firm legal footing.
Here is the company’s press release in full:
At a board meeting yesterday evening, RadiumOne’s board of directors voted to terminate the employment of Gurbaksh Chahal as CEO and Chairman of the company. Bill Lonergan, the company COO, will take over as CEO of the Company immediately. Bill has an extraordinary professional background and has helped build Blue Lithium and RadiumOne into industry leading brands. We are confident he will continue Radium One’s impressive trajectory.
RadiumOne builds software that automates media buying, making big data actionable for digital marketers.
RadiumOne uses programmatic advertising to connect brands to their next customers by incorporating valuable first-party data about behaviors, actions and interests demonstrated by consumers across web and mobile touch points.
Based in San Francisco, RadiumOne has offices across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.
We have reached out to individual RadiumOne board members and to Chahal for more information, and will update this post if any of them reply.
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