At 12:50pm EST today a confidential source sent us the resignation letter from Giles Chater, the former head of UK Tough Mudder. One week ago, Giles sent the letter to Will Dean and several staff members listing his reasons for stepping down as Managing Director. The letter alleges Mr. Dean may be the reason the current Spartan acquisition is at an impasse, and paints Will Dean in a negative light.
Giles states in his letter “Despite management’s best efforts you have refused to pursue one of these paths in good faith and have actively blocked our attempts to act in what we believed to be the best interest of creditors, customers, employees and wider stakeholders” He went on to say that Mr. Dean recently engaged in “unacceptable behavior including harassment, threats, name-calling and vulgar language.”
According to additional sources we have been working with in the US and UK Offices, Will Dean may be the sole reason Tough Mudder is currently not open for business. They allege Mr. Dean’s behavior has been selfish and erratic, including the recent firing of board member, Brad Dietz. Mr. Dietz was hired in March of 2019 as a “turnaround specialist” and from everything we’ve been hearing, had Tough Mudder trending in a healthy direction. Firing Mr. Dietz, and other recent alleged behavior caused the remaining board members to step down. This, in addition to several other factors, eventually led Kyle McLaughlin, American Tough Mudder CEO, to resign.
There is still unfinished business on many levels within this ordeal. There are three unpaid vendors who are attempting to put Tough Mudder into involuntary bankruptcy. Their goal was to have the Delaware Bankruptcy Court take the company out of Will Dean’s hands and put it into the hands of a Trustee who will take over the finances. The recent filing by the vendors and an additional filing by Spartan are requesting the courts have the Trustee put Joe in charge. Joe Desena told us his acquisition deal will “Put Kyle McLaughlin and his team back to work as soon as possible on Tough Mudder events”. Joe went on to tell us he hopes the court rule in his favor and said “my deal gets everyone paid, and allows the company to move forward”
Read the complete resignation letter below:
3rd January 2020
William Dean, Director, TM Ltd Guy Livingstone
Tough Mudder Management Team Tough Mudder London Office Matthew Martin, Pennington Manches Frank Young
Dear Mr Dean
It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that I have no choice but to resign from my position as Managing Director, Europe, effective 12pm GMT today. Please accept this as my formal letter of resignation. In light of my recent experiences with yourself, as Director of TM Ltd, and shareholder(s), I consider my position untenable and feel obligated to resign under the conditions.
You have clearly, and repeatedly, been presented with viable options for preserving Tough Mudder as a going concern. Despite management’s best efforts you have refused to pursue one of these paths in good faith and have actively blocked our attempts to act in what we believed to be the best interest of creditors, customers, employees and wider stakeholders. Both by action and in writing you have refused to engage with multiple requests for governance and direction.
This refusal to engage with me, fulfil your duties as a Director and effectively provide governance to our organisation left me with no choice. Your callous contemptuous attitude towards our creditors, customers and employees is reprehensible. We have a clear duty to prioritise the interests of our creditors and in failing to do so you have placed me in a morally and professionally compromising position – continued occupancy of which may expose me to personal liability I’m unwilling to risk.
On numerous occasions I have witnessed, or been subject to, unacceptable behaviour including harassment, threats, name-calling and vulgar language. Requests to provide a safe working environment free from this behaviour were belittled or ignored.
Watching this business unnecessarily run into the ground has been excruciating. I have remained unwavering in my commitment to our creditors, customers and amazing team this year and resign as an absolute last resort.
I care deeply for this brand and the incredible community which has built up around it. I am truly heartbroken at the suffering this will cause for so many, not least our loyal talented employees and suppliers.
Please be advised I have set an external out-of-office directing people to you.
I reserve all rights and remedies available to me at any time under my employment agreement and applicable law in each case against and with respect to the Company and Director(s).
Giles Chater Managing Director Tough Mudder Ltd.
Read the most recent articles, and how we got to this point here.