All four independent board members of video aggregator Roo Group have resigned effective immediately. The OTC-BB traded firm said in an SEC filing that Douglas Chertok, Simon Bax (former CFO, Pixar), Stephen Palley (executive director, Pali Capital) and Scott Ackerman informed the company of their decision to leave. The four are still listed as board members at the company’s website; absent them, Roo’s only board members are its CEO Robert Petty and CFO Robin Smyth. No explanation is given in the filing, though it claims that the resignations are not the result any matter relating to the company’s operations. However, the announcement obviously raises eyebrows.
In a separate filing, Roo acknowledges vague ‘allegations against our senior management’: “Recently, we were advised by the former independent members of our Board of Directors of unsubstantiated rumors regarding certain allegations made against members of our senior management, one of whom is also a director. These allegations include improper payments that have been alleged to have been made to and/or on behalf of such persons. ”
Although the company denies the allegations, it warns that if they were shown to be true, its ability to operate as a going concern could be hampered. At this point, there’s no direct connection between the allegations and the resignations.
— In January, News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) announced a strategic stake in Roo of 5 percent with the possibility of increasing to 10 percent. Then in February, Roo acquired the assets of P2P distributor Wurld Media. Since then certain Wurld Media executives have been indicted on money laundering and tax law violations, as reported on by the Albany Times Union. The Times Union reported last week that ex-Wurld CEO Gregory Kerber, one of the indicted executives, remains employed at Roo.
— Shares of Roo fell 34 percent today, dropping to $0.139 per share, well down from a high of $4.21 earlier in the year.