How it had been shaping up...
The two directors/shareholders had developed differing opinions on the best direction for the business, so a restructuring of management and ownership was proposed to assist with business growth.
How it has turned out...
This did not happen. During the process, one of the directors set up in opposition to Loadtek (early August). He has taken Loadtek's (and others) assets, stock and designs and is using them without authorisation. This, despite being clearly the smallest contributor to the business.
Legal steps are being taken to halt his actions, however Loadtek can ill-afford the expense and delay associated with this, and was simply not prepared for such a blatant assault from within. It would be inappropriate of me to imply the company is in a healthy state, however, the fight is on and Loadtek doesn't expect much success from such opportunistic competition!
The director in question has refused my attempts to meet with him to address the issue. This publication of the facts is therefore authorised in the interests of Loadtek and its customers. For legal reasons I do not wish to publish his name just yet.
I truly apologise to all those who have been affected by this situation. It is obviously more complex than set out here, but I believe I have highlighted the important facts. Any comments or questions will gratefully be received at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details will be posted here as necessary.
To those of you who think this publication "unbusinesslike"...
I believe that a business should not have to be run at the expense of honesty.
Director, Loadtek Instruments Ltd.
7 November 1999
The director in question refuses to address the issue. To ensure the truth prevails, I am left with no option but to publish factual details of the circumstances surrounding his actions. This is by no means a conventional move from a business perspective. (In other words if you don't like seeing "dirty laundry" being aired publicly, then do not read any further!) If you do read on you will see why such publication has become my only option.
(names of 3rd parties have been replaced with XXXX)
Please note that Barry Twigley (our contract worker and mechanical design consultant) has nothing to do with these problems (apart from being the meat in the sandwich).
In time, I will provide the explanations promised in the links above. It is very unfortunate that what I'm doing now is my last recourse, if it were possible to do it another way I would. When completed, this should also make a good case study on why business partnerships often turn sour - an all too common experience these days.
(These are drafts. Many of the links within have not yet been completed.)
In a meeting on 2-Dec-99, Mr Elton agreed in principle to sell his shares in Loadtek and purchase stock he has already taken (and started selling, in competition, without company permission...). Although I can't be happy for him to use the stock for this purpose, this deal is the simplest path to resolution of the commercial issues surrounding Loadtek Instruments Ltd, and will come as a great relief to all involved.
The proposed agreement does not directly address intellectual property issues, but I expect it will remove the heat from the battle and allow people and businesses to get on with their lives.
It appears Mr Elton has reneged on this agreement, just like he did last time. If that is anything to go by, he would now use the ideas discussed as leverage to falsely 'prove' he owns the stock by default.
He ignored the final deadline for signing the agreement (Monday 5pm), and despite promises to sign yesterday, it appears he didn't. He was apparently still ready to sign last Thursday (despite one of his workers quitting), so he's had plenty of time.
This now becomes a matter for the police.