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DAILY MANIFESTO

Brad Wardell: Great Boss Or Greatest Boss?

Posted on Friday, September 7 @ 16:35:00 Eastern by Guan_Yu

Forum user Guan_Yu has a few choice words for CEO Brad Wardell and the work environment he's promoting at Stardock Studios:

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell sued former marketing manager Alexandra Miseta last month on the claim that shortly before leaving the company, she stole or destroyed several marketing resources for the game Elemental: War of Magic, causing the rest of the team to dedicate weeks towards salvaging their marketing campaign and ultimately contributing greatly to the game's failure.

[The] suit seeks in excess of $1 million in damages from Miseta, claiming that just before quitting, Miseta "deleted, destroyed, and/or stole" the Elemental marketing materials, analytics, and trade show information. Without that information, the complaint argues, Stardock had to spend "vital time" leading up to Elemental's release "attempting to re-create" the marketing materials, "rather than programming, debugging, and otherwise readying Elemental for release."

Pretty shitty of her, right? Well, not really. There is zero conclusive evidence suggesting that marketing resources were destroyed in the last few weeks of the game's development. On top of that, several claims from current employees say that they didn't hear a peep about missing resources, let alone spend "vital time attempting to re-create" what Miseta allegedly destroyed. Finally, one particular employee testified that on top of giving a full week's notice in regards to her departure, Miseta also personally gave her team access to all of the files she had been working on with her time at Stardock.

So what's the issue? Time will only tell for sure, but the timing of Wardell's lawsuit against Miseta seems suspicious. This is because in 2010, Miseta filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Wardell.

Court records from the lawsuit show several troubling messages from Wardell to Miseta, as well as allegations of problematic in-person behavior. E-mail messages included in the records go back as far as March, 2008, and include a link to a sexually explicit YouTube video, a comment that Miseta was chosen to go to a conference "not just because you're 'hot'," and a 100-question "purity test" that he asked her to take and then send him her score from. The purity test includes questions like, "Have you engaged in group sex?," "Have you engaged in intercourse with an unconscious person, while conscious?," and, "Have you had anal intercourse?"

Witness depositions included in the case documents refer to multiple comments from Wardell to female employees about their breast and bra sizes, and one incident where he asked Miseta to attend a media tour because "[her] nipples look better on TV." They also describe a time on a media tour when Wardell's visit to the hotel room Miseta and another female colleague were sharing made Miseta feel uncomfortable.

Holy shit what a creepy little man. Understandably, Miseta sent an email outlining how she wishes to be treated like a professional, including the completely reasonable requests that Wardell not touch her body or hair, not talk about her private life or boyfriend, and that inappropriate jokes and negative personal opinions were not welcome in the workplace.

Wardell handle's things as only a champion among men knows how:

#3, however is not acceptable to me. I am an inappropriate, sexist, vulgar and embarrassing person and I'm not inclined to change my behavior. If this is a problem, you need to find another job.

#4, Again, I am not willing to adapt my behavior to suit others. If you find my behavior problematic, I recommend finding another job.

I'm not some manager or coworker of yours. I own the company. It, and your job there, exist to suit my purposes, not vice versa. The company is not an end unto itself, it is a means to an end which is to further the objectives of its shareholders (in this case, me).

I guess he's a gigantic asshole, too. Wardell furthers this point in responses made to Quarter to Three. Someone doesn't know that the first rule of lawsuits is to shut your fucking mouth to the public and let your lawyers handle it. I'm betting his legal team wishes they could put a muzzle on him until the case is over.

tl;dr: In short, Brad Wardell had been sexually harassing Alexandra Miseta since 2008. Miseta told Wardell to cease his behavior. Wardell spit in her face and told her she should find another job if she can't handle it. Miseta sued Wardell for sexual harassment and the lawsuit is still underway. She then called Wardell's bluff and quit the company in July 2012, weeks before a major game's release (which she was the marketing manager for). A butthurt Wardell then filed a totally non-retaliatory lawsuit against Miseta for allegedly destroying or stealing marketing resources for the game, except he has no evidence supporting his claim and his own employees are testifying in Miseta's defense.

This is completely disgusting to me and lawsuits aside, Wardell has been handling things like a complete dipshit. I can't wait to see how this pans out, hopefully a certain power-tripping nerd will get a reality check. This whole story sickens me and this type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable in a professional environment. Ugh.

What are your thoughts?
Related Games:   Elemental: War of Magic
Tags:   lawsuit


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