I’m only about 20 hours late on this piece of breaking news, but I won’t take full blame this time. If you get your news from the Star Tribune, then you probably missed this one too. I’m sure that has nothing to do with who it involves though…
Timberwolves (and Star Tribune) owner, Glen Taylor is being sued by former Wolves GM, Coach, and Gopher great Kevin McHale + a handful of others.
Why? Well, if you believe this lawsuit, it’s because he’s a rich asshole who uses his money to bully others he’s in business with….
Alright, so let me try to set this up…
Three brothers (The Spearman’s) are chief investors and 1/3 owners of a medical hearing implant company called “Envoy Medical Corp.”, which is (or was) apparently worth $300M-$1B, depending on who you talk to.
The company owns an implant technology called, “Esteem” (more on Esteem and Envoy here), which cost $30,000 per implant. The Spearman Brothers also have a sister, who happens to be the wife of Kevin McHale.
The Spearman Brothers and McHale bring on Billionaire, Glen Taylor and in 2010, he owns 15% of the company. The McHale’s owned 1.5%.
Now, enter Glen Taylor’s (allegedly) lazy, spoiled daughter, Kendahl Prokup; who is working for Envoy Medical Group during this time.
Here it is from CityPages.com:
According to the complaint, Taylor’s daughter Kendahl Prokop worked at Envoy until she was fired in spring 2012 “with cause.” That cause? “Poor performance,” at first, which led to “limited… work responsibilities,” and then got worse: “Prokop was not showing up for work.”CityPages.com
Alright so, Taylor’s daughter gets fired because she’s (allegedly) the spoiled brat of a rich guy and lacks work ethic. Supposedly, she stopped showing up to work completely, at one point.
Not much to see, so far, right? Glen’s daughter doesn’t work out and gets fired. However, the situation is going to escalate pretty quickly from here. You are about to find out exactly why Glen’s daughter is the way she is (allegedly). Parents, never do what Glen is about to (allegedly) do.
Ok CityPages.com, tell us what happens next…
It was around then that Taylor, a member of Envoy’s board, called then-CEO Patrick Spearman and told he was going to “take [him] out,” an alleged “promise of retaliation,” according to the complaint. Soon, Spearman, company president Shelly Amann, and the company’s “successful marketing team” all lost their jobs, allegedly at the direction of Taylor, who was said to have admitted to “protecting his daughter,” per the complaint.
In a “company-wide meeting,” Taylor then “welcomed his daughter back as an Envoy employee,” the lawsuit says, and told employees if they did not like his decisions they were welcome to quit, according to the complaint. Taylor also installed a new leadership team to replace the people recently ousted by the board.CityPages.com
Wow… so much for that fun-loving, almost aloofly inept Timberwolves owner I once saw. I don’t know why, but I’ve never seen Glen Taylor as that classic, cut-throat business man. Given his status and power, I probably knew better… but still, those two paragraphs paint the picture of a pretty terrible human being.
It (allegedly) gets worse though…
In 2012, Taylor lends $9 Million (pocket change) to Envoy, who then pledges all its assets (including intellectually property) to Taylor, as collateral. That would end up being important because, 3 years later, Taylor would purchase $20 million worth of company stock, essentially buying power of a company allegedly worth $350M-$1B, at this time.
That was, until Glen got control of it, and ran the business into the ground… ON PURPOSE.
Tell us how it happened, CityPages.com:
“The suit claims that Envoy’s financial performance suffered under Taylor, and that Taylor restructured Envoy’s financing so that he could profit from Envoy’s financial distress. The plaintiffs allege that, if Envoy defaults on its loans to Taylor’s financing company, Taylor can take the company’s assets for himself, including the valuable Esteem technology.”CityPages.com
So when Envoy becomes so poor it can’t pay its bills, Taylor will get ownership of the company, and an implant technology that once had the company worth anywhere from $300M-$1B (supposedly)…
Again, don’t go looking in Saturday morning’s Star Tribune for this story. Apparently, it’s not big enough to reach Taylor’s large media outlet. He sent it over to CityPages Friday morning with hopes nobody would read it.
I don’t want to get too hostile over this whole thing because it needs to play out more, before I make too many judgements. If the story is true though…. it sheds an entirely new light on what it’s like to do business with Glen Taylor. It also looks really bad that the situation isn’t being covered at all by the Star Tribune.
I’d love to get KG’s take on this story….
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan