OnLive Founder Out, COO Now Acting CEO
Are things still chaotic at OnLive? It would seem so, if sudden changes to management are any indicator.
When OnLive suddenly and without warning laid off its entire staff just over a week ago, the news was often contradictory and strange. By the end of the day, we knew what happened, even if it only made things murkier. In short, the company dissolved, sold its assets to a third party (investment firm Lauder Partners), and reincorporated as a completely new legal entity that was functionally the same entity. Employees had to be let go, apparently, in order to get rid of their stake in the company (dissolving the company nullified the stock, depriving shareholders of the benefits of the sale. Ouch.) The new company intended to rehire many of those laid off employees and many more would be offered consulting positions.
An official statement issued last week by OnLive failed to clear up that confusion, though it did insist that OnLive founder Steve Perlman remained in charge of the company. His remaining in charge, and the rehiring of many former employees, put concerns about the company’s health into doubt. Yes, confusing, and why did they take such drastic measures? After all, even if the company had tremendous debts, which appears to be the case, if they can afford to rehire and if they’re continuing uninterrupted, isn’t there a bit of cruelty in how they basically ensured no one outside company management could enjoy a stake in the buyout?
Well, it looks like Steve Perlman might not have pulled off the ultimate caper after all. It has been confirmed today that Perlman is out as OnLive CEO. Current head of operations Charlie Jablonski will step in as COO and acting CEO until a successor is found. The suddenness with which the transition has occurred, less than 2 weeks after the transition, suggests that Perlman’s run at the top of his company was not loved. We can only speculate, but it looks like he was forced out.
No doubt this will only get better as more information pops out. We’ll keep you posted.