Disgrace: RadiumOne Allowing CEO To Remain After Beating His Girlfriend

from the say-goodbye dept

There's been a lot of talk on various tech sites over the past few days concerning the disgraceful situation involving internet ad giant RadiumOne and its CEO Gurbaksh "G" Chahal. Chahal was arrested last year and charged with 45 counts for apparently beating his girlfriend -- hitting her 117 times over the course of half an hour, all caught on a security camera in his home. The legal case more or less fell apart when the judge said that police seizing the video violated the 4th Amendment (they did so without a warrant). Without that evidence, and with the woman refusing to cooperate, prosecutors worked out a deal and Chahal plead guilty to two charges -- one domestic violence battery and one battery -- and got three years probation and a mandatory 52-week domestic violence training program.

Having covered many, many stories in which law enforcement violates the 4th Amendment and piles on charges on someone, there isn't much to comment on in the legal case. Police should have had a warrant to get that video, clearly -- and it's on them that they did not do that. You can't fault the judge for tossing out illegally seized evidence. But, at no point has anyone denied that the video exists or that it shows Chahal hitting his girlfriend 117 times. Given that, plenty of people are reasonably wondering (1) why Chahal is still CEO of a giant ad company that's expected to IPO soon and (2) why his board/investors has refused to respond to questions about Chahal.

There has been plenty of talk recently about how welcoming (or not) the tech industry is to females. Some of the stories of "brogrammers" or "bro" culture strike me as exaggerating reality. It exists in some cases, but it is far from true everywhere. Plenty of startups that I've spent time with not only seem to create diverse and welcoming environments, but often go out of their way to create such supportive cultures. But, at the same time, it's clear that not every tech company is like that, and many engineers -- both female and male -- have been turned off by such cultures (though not enough speak out when they see it). The industry itself needs to do a much better job of creating welcoming environments and one obvious and important way to do so is to not condone abhorrent behavior, such as that which Chahal engaged in. Leaving Chahal in charge of RadiumOne is an implicit statement that such behavior is somehow acceptable. That, by itself, is unacceptable.

The fact that the board and RadiumOne's investors have not spoken out creates not just a huge blackeye for the company, but for the wider tech industry as a whole.

Filed Under: domestic violence, executive leadership, gubaksh chahal, tech industry
Companies: radiumone


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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Apr 2014 @ 6:11am

    Re:

    It is up to the court to decide what punishment or rehab this man needs, not the ROne's.

    You don't think this situation reflects on his ability to manage a company?

    Why should they fire him?

    Because it shows someone who cannot lead and has no business running a company.

    Do you really believe that they should fire people for something they do in their private life?

    Yes, absolutely. Especially if those actions will have real world impact on the running of the business. Given the allegations, many companies will be less interested in doing business with RadiumOne (I know that we will no longer consider RadiumOne ads on our site, and I'm sure we're not alone). Furthermore, I imagine this will further lead to many good people (both female and male) not wanting to work at RadiumOne. It makes the company toxic.

    Im sure he had his reasons to beat her

    There are no reasons that are acceptable.

    but over 100 hits is way too much

    Over zero is too many.

    But even that is not enough reason to fire someone who is doing his job properly.

    He cannot do his job properly after this.

    You guys are a disgrace, because you would want justice to work on emotions instead of logic.


    No, I explained the logic above. Not only does this show a massive lack in character and integrity from senior leadership, it impacts the entire company and the business.

    Remember when HP fired its CEO because he apparently propositioned a PR woman working for him? That was a much smaller deal, but HP reacted quickly. RadiumOne has a much more serious issue on their hands. And they've done nothing, just as the company wants to IPO. I don't see how they can trot this guy out on a roadshow when the whole point is to show how trustworthy management is.

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