Gurbaksh “G” Chahal, founder and CEO of RadiumOne 2009 WireImage

Ex-RadiumOne CEO is… right?

May 30, 2014

It has been one month after Gurbaksh “G” Chahal was booted as CEO of ad-tech company RadiumOne, after having pled guilty to a pair of misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an August 2013 fight with his then-girlfriend. Now he's promising legal payback against RadiumOne, arguing that the board supported his decision to plea until the subsequent social media pressure got too hot to handle.

Chahal has not yet filed formal legal paperwork, so we don't yet know if he plans to sue the company or its directors as individuals (likely the latter, given that he still owns a lot of stock in RadiumOne). Nor on what grounds. That also means we don't have a detailed response from RadiumOne, whose directors have consistently refused interview requests.

As I've written from the beginning, Chahal needed to go. Not only for obvious moral reasons, but also because Chahal's continued leadership would have seriously hampered RadiumOne's plans to go public. And Chahal's subsequent statements -- including ones where he called his ex-girlfriend a whore and compared himself to a lynching victim -- have convinced me even more.

But, at the same time, I believe Chahal is telling the truth about being betrayed by RadiumOne's board of directors. A source familiar with the situation confirms Chahal's version of corporate events, including his early offer to step back if the board felt that his legal situation would become too much of a distraction. The source adds that the board was comfortable with Chahal's decision to plead guilty to misdemeanors, thus avoiding a protracted legal battle (and, possibly, a more serious conviction).

As for why RadiumOne's directors didn't anticipate the public backlash, the source had no answer: "Maybe they really don't understand how seriously people take this issue, or maybe they thought no one would notice. Obviously they were wrong."

Put simply: It was not inconsistent to say that Chahal deserved to be fired by RadiumOne and that Chahal was screwed over by the people who fired him.

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