VENTURES AFRICA – iROKING ex-CEO Michael Ugwu, has denied confidentiality breach allegations from his previous employer that he launched a digital music platform that competes directly with iROKING during his tenure.
“It has been clear for some time that iROKO Partners wanted to exit the music space culminating in the winding down of iROKING so I am still fully trying to understand how I would set up a platform to compete with a platform that was to be “scrapped” according to Mr Jason Njoku,” Michael said in an official statement.
He added: “For the record I would like to see physical evidence of the digital platform I have set up. A copy of the apparent companies registration will suffice.”
With a supportive screenshot evidence of a chat with iROKO co-founder Bastian Gotter, Michael explained his former employers asked him verbally to become COO of Spark Ltd, another iROKO subsidiary but he refused stating his intention to stay in the music space.
“Mike lets talk. You want to go further into music. We want to get out,” the chat read in the screenshot titled “BastianWhatsAPP.”
“I’m sure there is a mutually agreeable scenario otherwise it gets ugly. Nothing good for any reputable business person,” the chat further read.
Mike rounded up his statement stating that the iROKO parent company had structural issues and an unfriendly employer culture.
“Last year iROKO Partners Lagos had circa 80 staff, now there are circa 15 remaining. At a time many of us were loyal to the iROKO cause, however serious structural issues have arisen so much so that many have felt it safer to find employment elsewhere,” he revealed.
iROKING earlier said that Michael Ugwu and the other dismissed employees have been given a generous six weeks’ severance pay, which is 50 percent more than stated in their employee contracts.
Michael refuted the statement saying “to date all the iROKO staff affected in this saga have not received such.”
“Seek out former staff and ask questions,” he stressed.
He further suggested that the management of iROKO Partners should tidy their house and/or pursue serious legal action if it is serious about its allegations.
Michael Ugwu has reportedly reabsorbed some of the dismissed staff and is currently “working on something rather exciting” which will be announced in the coming weeks.