Former CEO of High Times magazine, David Kohl, is suing the company for wrongful termination. The veteran media-management executive filed a suit for $6 million after the magazine let him go before the end of his 4-year contract.
Kohl had worked for a number of other media giants before signing with High Times. His former employers include businesses like Viacom, Vivendi, Nokia, and Xbox.
In looking to raise “additional capital” for the company, the magazine saw someone with Kohl’s experience as a perfect fit.
However, after the now-fired CEO demanded to make some changes in the workplace, they opted to terminate him before the end of his contract instead.
Former High Times CEO is “Wrongfully Terminated,” He Alleges
Upon being hired, Kohl was outraged at the “inappropriate behavior” of the staff of High Times magazine. According to him, the “culture of unprofessionalism” at the workplace was serving a detriment to the company. In addition, Kohl criticized the company’s board of directors for being “lazy” and “ineffective.”
In an effort to boost the magazine’s profits, he set out to make some changes. Kohl attempted to create “a more involved and devoted board of directors” in the interest of restructuring the company. And to prove he was serious about changing the workplace environment, he had also reprimanded an employee for misconduct.
The staff of High Times did not embrace his efforts to help the magazine. Instead, sales boss Matt Stang fired Kohl without warning. On top of that, another employee “surreptitiously” took the office keys off of his personal keychain while the dismissal took place.
Two weeks following his departure, Kohl’s lawyer sent a letter to the company demanding that they pay the remaining three years of his contract. It wasn’t until this time, Kohl alleges, that the magazine “attempted to manufacture” a reason for firing him. As a result, he is currently seeking $6 million in damages.
Bad Times for High Times
Kohl’s allegedly wrongful dismissal back in March was just the first bad month for the marijuana magazine giant.
According to The Denver Post, the lawsuit preceded the company website’s first time being surpassed by a competitor. In August, The Cannabist amassed 885 thousand unique viewers, far outnumbering High Times‘s 558 thousand (shhhh, don’t tell, we currently get 3.1M unique monthly viewers, but who’s counting?!?).
With the suit still ongoing, a potential loss of $6 million for the company can only spell disaster if Kohl’s team is successful. In hindsight, the event may have been just the beginning of what could turn out to be a very unsuccessful year for High Times magazine.