Friday, December 5, 2008

Michael Robertson Loses Motion in Shareholder Dispute over Linspire's Missing Assets

I have some good news to report to the 100 some-odd shareholders who remain in the dark about Linspire's missing cash and assets...

Robertson Loses Motion in Shareholder Lawsuit.

As I had reported back in September, Michael Robertson and Larry Kettler were sued in a derivative lawsuit, alleging misconduct by Robertson and Kettler which harmed the Linspire corporation and its shareholders. (Linspire had millions of dollars in the bank just months prior to its demise, but Robertson remains silent as to what happened to the corporation and Linspire's cash and assets, leaving minority shareholders in the dark.)

You would think with all the attention Robertson has been getting by ignoring the Linspire investors and shareholders, that he would be doing all he can to come clean to them as to what happened. Instead, Robertson's tossed out a legal maneuver which I believe was simply a ploy to try and intimidate the plaintiff who had sued Robertson on behalf of the company and shareholders. Robertson filed a motion to force the plaintiff to come up with a $50,000 bond before they could continue with their case against Robertson and Kettler.

Robertson and Kettler Lose Motion

This week the court denied Robertson and Kettler's motion requiring the bond, which means the case can continue to discovery and eventually to trial.

Even though Linspire minority shareholders still remain in the dark as to what happened, this is at least a small victory for them to see that Robertson will eventually have to explain himself in court.

It says a lot about Robertson when it has taken this type of lawsuit to get him to explain to shareholders what happened and that he continues to fight the process rather than just being forthright with the shareholders.

The question remains: What is he hiding?



Tucanae Services said...


Be ever so careful. Robertson by his actions might be the type that would be willing to take this to his self induced grave.

Anonymous said...

Poor linspire. Sad to see something malicious happen from the new ceo. Put a company down the drain for a selfish get rich quick scheme? Idk, too early to tell if that was the case. Pretty obvious he did quick get in and get out scheme anyhow.
The question is why did he [mess up] a good product?

Anonymous said...

I think he was probably desperate for cash. Maybe for one of his other lawsuits (he's still in one or two, isn't he?) or perhaps just felt a sense of entitlement since he started the company, it's all his anyways. I've known a few people like that before. They just ignore anything that doesn't fit perfectly with their preconceived view, and for some reason, their preconceived view always benefits them before anyone else. I guess that just a description of greedy, though. So maybe he's just greedy.

Anonymous said...

Larry Kettler is mentioned in Lawsuits, but he is fact now employed by Xandros, a very strange situation. Maybe Larry is calssed as a "Fixture and Fitting" of Lispire which Xandros aquired ??

Linspire is dead, Freespire will exist "as a rebadged Xandros Open Edition version 5" and CNR for Xandros will likely get a new name!!

Kevin Carmony said...

Correct, the claims of mismanagement of Linspire's assets were filed against Robertson and Kettler. Kettler was CEO at the time.

I worked with Kettler for several years. My personal experience with him is that he is a total puppet for Robertson. He doesn't have the spine to stand up to Robertson, even if he felt Robertson was doing something wrong or illegal.

I stood up to Robertson when he asked me to transfer money to himself and his father-in-law, refusing to do so as the CEO, protecting ALL shareholders. Kettler wouldn't have stood up to Robertson.

You have a lot more faith in Xandros and CNR than I do. I see all the momentum with Linux elsewhere (Red Hat, Novell, Canonical/Ubuntu). Xandros hardly moves the needle on having any significant impact on Linux. I predict they will eventually even lose the ASUS.


Anonymous said...


Why not get the FBI/SEC, or whatever is entitled to investigate, involved and file for a theft investigation?


Kevin Carmony said...


Because Linspire was a private company, with private shareholders (not publicly traded), the SEC doesn't usually get involved.

Myself and several other employees have, however, filed fraud reports with the IRS, letting them know of Robertson's actions.

There is also a lawsuit in the process over all of this from shareholders.

It's been going on a year, and STILL no word to shareholders about any of this.

Robertson is what gives CEO's a bad name. He hates it when government regulates businesses (as do I), but it's unethical CEO's like Robertson who make it easy for people to feel the need for regulation. I'm less about regulating the Robertson's of the world, and more just about letting the world know STAY AWAY.