Telltale co-founder and former CEO Kevin Bruner is suing the California-based developer following his ousting in 2017.
According to the Marin Independent Journal, the conflict between Bruner and Telltale started in February 2015, when entertainment firm Lionsgate invested in the studio. New board members allegedly asked for Bruner, who had been appointed as CEO just a month before, to be pushed out of the position. However, Bruner didn’t step down until March 2017, with Dan Connors then taking over the CEO role before being replaced by Telltale’s current CEO Peter Hawley in September 2017. The company then entered troubled waters with 90 redundancies announced in November following a restructure.
Bruner remained on the board until September 2017 and was then pushed out when Hawley was appointed. “Bruner alleges the shareholder bloc that forced him out did not hold enough stock to cast legitimate votes,” the Marin Independent Journal explained. Quoting the lawsuit, the publication added: “The net effect of Bruner’s alleged removal from the board of directors was that Bruner was deprived of relevant insight into the management and financial state of Telltale and the value of its shares.”
Bruner’s lawsuit was filed in February 2018 at the Marin County Superior Court, for breach of contract and “other allegations,” The Marin Independent Journal further reported. Telltale’s lawyers replied to the lawsuit, saying it was “meritless”, before adding Bruner did it “as an apparent means of extracting revenge on a company already under financial strain.” Bruner’s lawyers then replied as well, accusing Telltale of “baseless and careless accusations of petty revenge.”
The judge in charge of the case, Roy Chernus, has scheduled a case management conference for July 17th.