Sensor maker Velodyne’s founder calls for chairman’s resignation

A Velodyne Lidar unit is seen on Camello, an autonomous grocery delivery robot, in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: A Velodyne Lidar unit is seen on Camello, an autonomous grocery delivery robot, in Singapore April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

August 23, 2021

(Reuters) – Velodyne Lidar Inc’s founder David Hall on Monday called on Chairman Michael Dee to resign from the sensor maker’s board, blaming him for a steep fall in the company’s stock price.

“Dee has spearheaded major business decisions that leave him responsible for the company’s nearly 80% stock price decline, in my view,” Hall, who was removed as chairman earlier this year, said in an letter to the board.

Velodyne did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Velodyne shares were up about 14% on Monday after having tumbled about 80% since the company went public in September through a merger with a blank-check company.

Hall had sent another letter to the board in June, calling for the resignation of Anand Gopalan as chief executive officer and Joseph Culkin as chairman, among others. Gopalan left the company in July, while Culkin handed over the chairman’s role to Dee earlier this month, citing health reasons.

The ongoing saga at the sensor maker was triggered after Hall was removed as chairman and his wife, Marta Thoma Hall, as marketing chief in February on the grounds of lack of honesty, a charge Marta said the couple was not allowed to rebut.

Hall, in his latest letter, also asked for the removal of director Hamid Zarringhalam.

Dee and Zarringhalam did not reply to requests for comment via LinkedIn.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)