Shareholder and partnership disputes can be among some of the most disastrous and consequential in business. These disputes have the capacity to redefine a business, and potentially push out key individuals.
One recent dispute involving online military-themed clothes retailer, Grunt Style, has proven to be no different. Army veteran Daniel Alarik launched the company 11 years ago, but recently launched another venture: a crowdfunding campaign to help cover his family’s medical expenses after his abrupt ouster. The company’s shareholder dispute resulted in an internal battle, with Alarik’s position as founder and former CEO accounting for the biggest casualty.
Considering one side of the story
According to Alarik, Grunt Style provided “no reason” for his removal, stating that the move resulted from a push for new leadership and outside partners last year. On the fundraising platform, Alarik wrote that the termination left his family with no income and no health insurance.
A vehement disagreement
In response to Alarik’s claims, Grunt Style published a statement to their 2.9 million Facebook followers declaring that while the company respects its former leader, they disapprove of how the situation has been handled and of the potential damage to the brand. Grunt Style also claimed that the change in leadership, which resulted in bringing in at least one investor and partner, was due to the company’s dire financial crisis. This change required Alarik to step down as CEO.
In regard to Alarik’s claims about being left without health insurance, the company contended that it offered the former leader health coverage during the ouster process.
Moving forward from a contentious dispute
Notably, neither side has pursued legal action.
In many situations, business owners, partners or shareholders who find themselves facing a similar sort of dispute will work to somehow resolve their differences as amicably as possible. When this is not an option, or when all other options have been exhausted, litigation may be necessary to resolve the dispute and move the company forward. Working with an attorney experienced in complex partnership and shareholder disputes from the start can help ensure you are in a favorable position, should litigation become inevitable.