Yesterday, San Francisco-based tech company RadiumOne fired its CEO, Gurbaksh Chahal, following his guilty plea in a domestic violence case. In a blog post published today, Chahal lashed back against his board, blaming its members for pressuring him to take the plea deal that resulted in his firing and claiming that he was “taking one for the team.”
Chahal also blamed “social media bloggers” for his downfall, most notably Re/code executive editor Kara Swisher, who broke the news of his firing. According to Chahal, who likened his situation to that of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich (who resigned after public scrutiny of his donations to anti-marriage equality organizations), “social media became the court of public opinion and decided to grow a life of its own.”
The San Francisco district attorney's office charged Chahal with 45 felonies for allegedly punching and kicking his girlfriend more than 100 times and attempting to smother her with a pillow in his penthouse after he learned she had cheated on him with a man during a trip to Las Vegas, according to court documents. (In a blog post published Sunday, Chahal claimed the fight began when he learned his girlfriend had engaged in prostitution.)
The alleged attack was caught on home-surveillance footage, authorities said. Chahal initially pleaded not guilty to all charges and posted $1 million bail. He also hired former federal prosecutor Jim Lassart, who said prosecutors were blowing out of proportion an argument between Chahal and his girlfriend.
Chahal's girlfriend then stopped cooperating with the investigation and asked prosecutors to drop the charges. But prosecutors said they would proceed even if she wouldn't testify.
Earlier this month, a San Francisco judge ruled the surveillance video in Chahal's home was unlawfully seized by police, despite prosecutors' claims that they worried the video would have been erased.
Chahal plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of battery and will be placed on three years probation, be required to complete a 52-week domestic violence training class and perform 25 hours of community service.
He is replaced at RadiumOne by chief operating officer Bill Lonergan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.