Vivek Wadhwa, founder and former chief executive officer of Relativity Technologies, has filed a lawsuit against the company seeking at least $295,000. Among the counts is wrongful termination.
Local Tech Wire is seeking comment from Relativity.
Wakefield Group, one of the venture capital firms that invested in Relativity, had “no comment” on the suit when contacted by LTW.
LTW also is seeking comment from Noro-Moseley Partners of Atlanta, another Relativity investor.
Other investors include Intel and Wachovia Strategic Ventures.
After protracted negotiations to try to resolve an ongoing dispute over the company’s finances, Wadhwa told Local Tech Wire that “I was left with no choice” but to file the law suit.
Steve Maysonave, Relativity’s CEO, was recruited by Wadhwa to take over the company in 2003 as part of a new round of financing. Maysonave once worked for Intel.
The suit was filed in Wake County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Wadhwa, who started the company in 1997, was still listed as Relativity’s chairman on its web site as of Wednesday afternoon. Relativity provides software and support for updating older enterprise operating systems.
Wadhwa suffered a near-fatal heart attack in March of 2002.
In the suit, Wadhwa seeks damages “in excess of $10,000” for the termination, which he said occurred on May 25 in a letter on May 25. The letter said he was terminated “For Cause”. Wadhwa said such cause “did not exist.” He also wants to be reimbursed for expenses and legal fees, and he requested a jury trial.
Wadhwa, who stepped down as CEO in January of last year and became chairman, wants payment of deferred compensation and interest on those earnings. In the filing, Wadhwa said he had times delayed taking compensation in order to help the company’s cash flow.
Wadhwa said he also is due $285,866 from a Promissory Note that dated to March of 2002. The company has not repaid the note even though it received $1.253 million through Silicon Valley Bank for debt restructuring, Wadhwa said. According to the suit, Wadhwa said Relativity “agreed to pay the Promissory Note upon completion of a debt restructuring with Silicon Valley Bank.”
The 18-page complaint is filled with vivid and detailed descriptions of a running battle within Relativity management dating back to 2001. The company “encountered financial difficulties,” Wadhwa said. He “loaned” the company “approximately $500,000” over 2001 and 2002 and “deferred part of his salary in 2001 and again in 2002”.