Ousted Kairos CEO Cites Philosophical Differences in Counter-Suit

“In addition to counter-suing, Brackeen is also pressuring shareholders to remove the Board and reinstate him as CEO…”

Brian Brackeen, the founder and former CEO of facial recognition specialist Kairos, is counter-suing the company after it ejected him from his role and filed a suit against him over alleged theft and breach of duties.

As TechCrunch reports, part of the conflict may revolve around philosphical differences among the company’s leadership. As CEO of Kairos, Brackeen placed a strong emphasis on the firm’s commitment to ensuring it operated equally well on subjects of different races, and on its refusal to sell its technology to law enforcement, a practice that has embroiled rivals like Amazon in controversy. Brackeen alleges that the Chairman of the Board, Stephen O’Hara, didn’t share these values and pressured Brackeen to back away from his refusal to sell facial recognition technology to police, an allegation that O’Hara contests.

O’Hara and his Board, meanwhile, say that during his tenure as CEO, Brackeen misled investors, misused corporate funds, and failed to report to the Board, prompting them to remove him and install Melissa Dorval as Kairos’s interim CEO. Brackeen says Kairos withheld compensation from him, and that it has sought to destroy his reputation.

In addition to counter-suing, Brackeen is also pressuring shareholders to remove the Board and reinstate him as CEO, though shareholders voted last week in support of an offering valuing the company at $1.5 million – a sharp drop from its previous valuation of $120 million, as TechCrunch notes. In a memo obtained by TechCrunch, Kairos described it as an “emergency” offering aimed at addressing the “precarious financial position” of the company.

Source: TechCrunch

November 19, 2018 – by Alex Perala