Gearbox CEO accused by former studio lawyer of taking $12M bonus

Marco Green
January 12, 2019

When reached for comment, Ars was given the following statement by a Gearbox representative: "Randy is shocked by the meritless allegations brought up by a former friend and colleague, to whom he has extended his personal funds multiple times to help him purchase a home, a vehicle, and even fully finance his tuition and expenses for an executive MBA at Pepperdine". Where Callender and Pitchford disagree - and where the suit goes from dry financial bickering to public drama - is what kind of porn. Gearbox also accused Callender of destroying evidence of the home loan agreement he made with the studio. That being said, a brand new lawsuit that was recently ousted by Kotaku and it involves Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford being sued for taking a supposed $12 million secret bonus.

According to the lawsuit filed by Gearbox, the studio alleged that Callender, who worked at the company from 2010 until 2018, borrowed money for a home loan and tuition, neither of which were paid back in full.

In a statement to Kotaku, a Gearbox spokesperson said "The allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law".

Pitchford and Callender were lifelong friends since childhood before their relationship soured in recent years. They also claim he " abused the privilege of credit card access by charging unapproved, wholly personal expenses, including family vacations, gun club memberships and firearms accessories, and trying to get six-pack abs". Callender says that Pitchford left a USB drive in a Dallas, Texas restaurant containing sensitive corporate documents for Gearbox and its partners including 2K Games, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, and others. He also says Randy has held parties where "adult men have reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford".

Callender's most lurid allegation against Pitchford is an accusation surrounding an event that he says occurred in 2014.

Shortly after Kotaku's publication of this article, David Eddings - former VP of business development at Gearbox through 2017 - tweeted "Yes, it's true".

We've reached out to Gearbox for further comment in the wake of Eddings' tweet, and will update in due course. You can read that suit in full below. "This girl's handle was 'Only 18.'" Moreover, he claims that he had kept the video because he wanted to figure out a magic trick performed within (though the trick was itself sexual).

However, the most egregious allegation against Pitchford involves personal files that were found on a USB flash drive in 2014.

As noted by Ars Technica, leaving the USB stick at the restaurant was discussed by Pitchford back in December when he appeared on The Piff Pod.

Gearbox will be filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against our former general counsel Wade for disciplinary proceedings for filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue. The lawyer's rules of professional conduct expressly prohibit the filing of documents that are knowingly false. We imagine that he used the quotation marks and lawyer language in hopes that will give him some angles of defense when we inevitably take action against him for false statements.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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