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Removing a Co-Founder
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freudling
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May 1, 2012, 08:49 PM
 
We're having to do it today. He's flippant, incompetent, and many other things. Wow, what a stress. Investors and Board coming together in 2 hours to do the removal and collect bank card and keys.

Got a hold of Emails from him, friends and family saying to kick my ass, burn the building to the ground, etc.

Will report back once it's done.
     
phantomdragonz
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May 1, 2012, 09:31 PM
 
Uhm, Wha? Who? where?
     
olePigeon
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May 2, 2012, 12:26 AM
 
So, uh, looking for another partner?
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Spheric Harlot
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May 2, 2012, 01:40 AM
 
They're kicking you out?

(hur hur)
     
freudling  (op)
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May 2, 2012, 02:01 AM
 
Yes, I am looking for another partner.

Tonight was tough. He took it hard but we had to remove him. We just dropped him off at a hotel. He's flying back home tomorrow. I feel like my world is lighter now.

He was very perturbed and in disbelief. Collected his stuff and got him out of there. He seem lost and confused. But it's all for the best. Business is hard sometimes.
     
Athens
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May 2, 2012, 02:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
We're having to do it today. He's flippant, incompetent, and many other things. Wow, what a stress. Investors and Board coming together in 2 hours to do the removal and collect bank card and keys.

Got a hold of Emails from him, friends and family saying to kick my ass, burn the building to the ground, etc.

Will report back once it's done.
Give me a call tomorrow
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
besson3c
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May 2, 2012, 02:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Give me a call tomorrow
Can I call you too?
     
Athens
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May 2, 2012, 03:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Can I call you too?
If you got my number go for it, but I'm warning you nothing sexual with carebears....
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
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besson3c
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May 2, 2012, 03:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
If you got my number go for it, but I'm warning you nothing sexual with carebears....

I'll just call directory assistance and ask for Athens.

Expect a call at 7:00 AM your time.
( Last edited by besson3c; May 2, 2012 at 04:06 AM. )
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 2, 2012, 04:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Got a hold of Emails from him, friends and family saying to kick my ass, burn the building to the ground, etc.
Let me guess, he couldn't be persuaded to like the Lumia 900?

I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 2, 2012, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'll just call directory assistance and ask for Athens.

Expect a call at 7:00 AM your time.
You can call me if you want. Just ask for my assistant, Lizzie. You won't get her much before 9am local time BST though.

(+44) (0)20 7930 4832
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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May 2, 2012, 06:42 AM
 
This was an incorporated company, it sounds like? The co-founder was just an employee? I suppose a very nice severance package will help mitigate his hard feelings?
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andi*pandi
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May 2, 2012, 07:47 AM
 
Is it possible that in 10 years your company will be in a total mire, and the only one who can save it is him?

Also, will he still have stock/interest?

Business, yeah... tough decisions. There was no way though to just shuffle him off to be vice president of basket weaving, er, I mean R&D?
     
freudling  (op)
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May 2, 2012, 02:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Is it possible that in 10 years your company will be in a total mire, and the only one who can save it is him?

Also, will he still have stock/interest?

Business, yeah... tough decisions. There was no way though to just shuffle him off to be vice president of basket weaving, er, I mean R&D?
There wasn't another option. The investors didn't want him around anymore, and neither did I. He was flippant, immature, and wasn't adding any value to the business. I tried very, very hard to make it work.

I've been running around all morning cancelling his bank card; putting a stop payment on a blank check he had...

When I went into the bank, they told me he had just left out to the airport. Going back to Toronto. A couple small purchases on the bank card were made but now it won't work.
     
Athens
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May 2, 2012, 02:47 PM
 
Keep track of everything in a computer database, never hurts to start a SAF and Resource file even if only a few people. Catalog what access they have to stuff, what assets have been provided, account numbers and so forth so when terminating you have a single folder to go through to get it all.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
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ShortcutToMoncton
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May 2, 2012, 03:53 PM
 
To follow up on my first comment - how was he "removed"? Generally one would use the term "remove" for a director on the board of directors of a company - but sounds like this person wasn't merely on the board, correct?

By that do you mean terminated? Was he a salaried employee who was fired? An officer of the company perhaps - given that the board of directors was involved?

Generally, many small-ish businesses still in the startup phase don't like having to terminate because of the amount of severance they'll have to pay out - was that a big consideration, or was the level of incompetence worth simply paying the severance amount and getting it over with?
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Athens
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May 2, 2012, 06:50 PM
 
As I know both freudling and the Investors personally I'm sure they had good reasons. Gotta do what you gotta do and at the end of the day the business is what counts. I just can't wait for the hard work to pay off and to be shown off
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
PB2K
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May 2, 2012, 07:21 PM
 
i go with Andy, if you play it too hard you might hurt your business later. Chances are he will work in the same industry so you will meet again sooner or later. An angry ex employee can do more damage than just cashing a blank cheque or delete a few files here and there.

You better contact him and say you feel sorry but this was the last resort. Help him find something else in a positive way.
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freudling  (op)
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May 2, 2012, 09:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
i go with Andy, if you play it too hard you might hurt your business later. Chances are he will work in the same industry so you will meet again sooner or later. An angry ex employee can do more damage than just cashing a blank cheque or delete a few files here and there.

You better contact him and say you feel sorry but this was the last resort. Help him find something else in a positive way.
He was a risk, both in business and physically. He was poisonous. He had to be removed. Removed meaning terminated. He signed an employment contract for his position here with a probation clause: we could terminate him at anytime without just cause. The Board voted to terminate him.

He is also being voted off the Board. He remains an equity owner and we will deal with that later.

By being removed we mean no role at the Company. Turn in your keys, your phone, your computer.

He was a major risk and we had evidence of him intending to do malicious things.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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May 3, 2012, 06:34 AM
 
Again: what about his termination/severance pay?

That wasn't an issue for the company? It must be a fairly new company then, I imagine - he hadn't been working there very long?
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freudling  (op)
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May 3, 2012, 10:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Again: what about his termination/severance pay?

That wasn't an issue for the company? It must be a fairly new company then, I imagine - he hadn't been working there very long?
New business. He was barely being paid anything. Again, like I said, he was on probation. We could terminate him at any time without just cause and no continued financial obligation.

He was given a flight home.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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May 3, 2012, 10:54 AM
 
There are minimum amounts of severance notice/payments for without-just-cause termination that may apply depending on the factual situation. It likely wouldn't matter if your contract says otherwise.

You should quickly look into that and see if your particular situation would require giving statutory notice (or payment in lieu of that notice).
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idontlikelionosx
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May 3, 2012, 12:22 PM
 
does he own the company?
     
finboy
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May 3, 2012, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
There wasn't another option. The investors didn't want him around anymore, and neither did I. He was flippant, immature, and wasn't adding any value to the business. I tried very, very hard to make it work.

I've been running around all morning cancelling his bank card; putting a stop payment on a blank check he had...

When I went into the bank, they told me he had just left out to the airport. Going back to Toronto. A couple small purchases on the bank card were made but now it won't work.
Wait...are you being the John Sculley here?

Seriously, this kind of thing happens more often than we would like in small businesses. That's also why family businesses aren't always a good idea - harder to cut folks out if they become deadweight.

I'm sorry you had to go through with it, but there's often no choice. "Poisonous" is the best word for it. The task now, I'll suggest, is convincing everyone remaining that this was an exceptional case.
     
freudling  (op)
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May 4, 2012, 12:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Wait...are you being the John Sculley here?

Seriously, this kind of thing happens more often than we would like in small businesses. That's also why family businesses aren't always a good idea - harder to cut folks out if they become deadweight.

I'm sorry you had to go through with it, but there's often no choice. "Poisonous" is the best word for it. The task now, I'll suggest, is convincing everyone remaining that this was an exceptional case.
If any of you knew how many months I tried to make it work. Unfortunately, he was in way, way over his head. The investors approached me about him because they thought he was my ex girlfriend's little brother... our attitudes and personalities are much, much different. I'm more the alpha male, he's shy and timid.

He just never evolved or learned enough about the business and industry. He was incompetent and just doesn't belong here. He's been miserable and a total outcast. The whole business was my idea and I raised all the money. He's sort of along for the ride. I gave him a diluted 7% equity position (non-vesting). We are in a position to vote him out of the Board and then sort of dilute his stock down a bit, remaining fair.

If you could only see his text messages and Emails, you'd both laugh and be concerned. He's a spiteful little punk with bad intentions. Today I found out an iPad is missing. I am 95% certain he stole it.

In the end, theft, malicious intent, incompetence, an offer of friendship and help to find him another job... I think he's probably not interested in severance at this point.
     
freudling  (op)
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May 4, 2012, 12:25 AM
 
Anyone interested in hopping over to Vancouver to get in on some start up action? We have a great team. PhDs to young BCIT programmers...
     
besson3c
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May 4, 2012, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Anyone interested in hopping over to Vancouver to get in on some start up action? We have a great team. PhDs to young BCIT programmers...
What does your company do?
     
freudling  (op)
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May 4, 2012, 04:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What does your company do?
We're a software company reinventing an industry. Consumer and pro software. PM me if you want to know more.
     
Athens
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May 4, 2012, 04:46 AM
 
I'll take that 7% out of the goodness of your heart lol
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ShortcutToMoncton
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May 4, 2012, 08:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
In the end, theft, malicious intent, incompetence, an offer of friendship and help to find him another job... I think he's probably not interested in severance at this point.
Be that as it may, those employment provisions are statutory and should be followed be avoid headache down the road. If he starts thinking over the next couple weeks that he should've gotten more and does his research (or visits a lawyer), the company could possibly end up paying the required severance, a fine, and his lawyer's fees. My friendly non-legal advice is that it's almost always better to meet the requirements up-front and avoid the mess entirely.

(To be clear: I have no idea what the company may be responsible for or pay; I also don't know much of the fact situation and it may be that the statutory minimum periods don't apply; I'm just speculating based on what sometimes happens when you have a disgruntled employee who wants to "get back" at his old company.)
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Phileas
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May 4, 2012, 09:42 AM
 
My business partner and myself had to do the very same thing, removing a third partner, when we started our own business. After the initial unpleasantness subsided, it turned out to be the best possible decision for everybody.
     
freudling  (op)
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May 5, 2012, 01:46 PM
 
He has a choice. He can lawyer up and try and squeeze us, or we can call the police and charge him with theft. He stole some equipment from the office and yes, we can prove it.

The reality is I want the best for him, and we are on talking terms. I think he wants to move on. There's no ill will between us.
     
freudling  (op)
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May 5, 2012, 01:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
My business partner and myself had to do the very same thing, removing a third partner, when we started our own business. After the initial unpleasantness subsided, it turned out to be the best possible decision for everybody.
I feel like this will be the same. Best for everyone. No sense in hanging around if things are unhappy.
     
Athens
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May 5, 2012, 02:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
He has a choice. He can lawyer up and try and squeeze us, or we can call the police and charge him with theft. He stole some equipment from the office and yes, we can prove it.

The reality is I want the best for him, and we are on talking terms. I think he wants to move on. There's no ill will between us.
What you think you can prove and what the courts accept are 2 different things. Be careful on that front. Bluff him into thinking you can prove it with out a doubt but have a backup plan in case he calls that bluff and makes it reality. Might find yourself in a situation that crown does not think they can win the case and fail to charge him and then he nails you for compensation.
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Waragainstsleep
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May 5, 2012, 03:56 PM
 
Maybe you could change your company focus and start building terminator robots. If that isn't already what you're doing.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
freudling  (op)
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May 6, 2012, 12:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Maybe you could change your company focus and start building terminator robots. If that isn't already what you're doing.
I'd actually love to create Terminator robots.
     
freudling  (op)
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May 6, 2012, 12:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
What you think you can prove and what the courts accept are 2 different things. Be careful on that front. Bluff him into thinking you can prove it with out a doubt but have a backup plan in case he calls that bluff and makes it reality. Might find yourself in a situation that crown does not think they can win the case and fail to charge him and then he nails you for compensation.
He's on video stealing them...

The issue isn't this. It's just wishing the guy the best moving forward in his life. This isn't nasty. It's just emotional. Business is tough sometimes.
     
Spheric Harlot
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May 6, 2012, 02:44 AM
 
If the video wasn't lawfully obtained (i dunno about Canadia, but here, there's pretty strict laws about what may be filmed), it wouldn't be admissible in court, and thus worthless.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 6, 2012, 06:31 AM
 
Laws are tight here too but companies are well within their rights to film in their own buildings with the exception of the toilet stalls. As a founder he probably knew the cameras were there too right?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Athens
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May 6, 2012, 04:13 PM
 
It depends. If the video was focused on his working location like his office its not admissible in court. If it was general common areas like hall ways, lunch rooms that show it then as long as every person in the building was told about cameras or it was posted that there are cameras it is. I had to look into this stuff because one of my managers wanted to setup security cameras where I work. Secret cameras setup cant be used at all in court. Requires the police to set them up with a court order.

Freudling, still cover your bases, even if its not nasty now, you never know when some one decides to lash out later, from stress or advice from others.
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May 6, 2012, 07:12 PM
 
Did he walk around the office refusing to wear deodorant? Claiming that because he was a fruititarian he didn't smell?
     
   
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