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Embattled Supply Chain Startup Fires Suspended CEO: Reports

Logistics software firm has reportedly fired CEO and co-founder Chris Kirchner, while also removing him as chair of the board amid allegations of corporate fund misuse and missed employee pay.

The leadership change follows Kirchner’s suspension from his duties as chief executive late last month, when Slync’s board installed chief of staff Tim Kehoe as acting president as employee accusations of late and missed paychecks mounted.

The company’s vice president of global sales and marketing Burt White declined to state at the time the reason for the suspension, telling Sourcing Journal the company doesn’t comment on its employees. White also declined to address the issue of missed employee pay.

White did not respond to a call Monday requesting comment on the reports of Kirchner’s firing or company layoffs. Kirchner could not be reached Monday for comment.

Reports said Kirchner retaliated against the company following his suspension by locking some employees out from corporate systems.

Kehoe told supply chain trade publication FreightWaves following Kirchner’s firing, “In conjunction with the recent leadership change, we at Slync are restructuring the organization to drive more value for our current and future customers.”

Slync sells a software platform that aims to help companies automate documentation, carrier management and other backend logistics functions.

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Former vice president of engineering Jason Selvidge filed a lawsuit against Kirchner and the company July 19 for wrongful termination, unfair business practices and breach of contract among other violations.

Selvidge alleges Kirchner fired him after he spoke out against the former CEO’s alleged “unlawful conduct” and using the company “as a personal piggy bank,” while staff repeatedly went without pay.

Although employees began airing their discontent over the missed paychecks around May, Selvidge said in his lawsuit he noted the issue from the time he joined Slync, with late pay between August and September of 2019.

Payroll issues persisted even with money coming into the business through a first round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in April 2020 in the amount of $391,667 and a $60 million Series B announced in February 2021, Selvidge’s complaint noted.

The Series B was led by Goldman Sachs, which gained a seat on the board with its investment, and also included ACME Ventures, 235 Capital Partners and Correlation Ventures.

Selvidge alleged in his lawsuit former Slync CFO Samar Kamdar was fired by Kirchner after voicing concerns about the company’s financial reporting to the board. Kamdar said Kirchner was the only executive at the company who had access to the company’s investment account, according to the lawsuit.

Selvidge later went to the board to present his own concerns regarding Kamdar’s firing and Kirchner’s handling of the business in June of this year.

Selvidge, more specifically, said in his lawsuit he asked that the board look into Kirchner’s failed bid to buy the Derby County Football Club out of administration, and “whether the lack of payroll funding was related to this purchase.”

Selvidge later that same month found himself effectively fired from the company after finding he was locked out of his email, calendar and other company accounts with no explanation from Kirchner or the company’s human resources department, according to court documents.

An attorney for Selvidge said he is owed at least $2 million in damages, but an exact amount would emerge once evidence is gathered during the discovery process.