Gurbaksh Chahal out as Gravity4 CEO after probation ruling

Tech founder Gurbaksh Chahal has handed over his CEO role at Gravity4 to his sister, Kamal Kaur, after a judge found last week that he violated his domestic violence probation.

Chahal has been removed from Gravity4’s leadership page and replaced by Kaur, who is currently listed as CEO of the company. Kaur previously held leadership roles at Chahal’s other companies, including RadiumOne, where she worked as VP of mobile, and BlueLithium, which was sold to Yahoo in 2007 for $300 million.

Kaur’s bio on Gravity4’s website doesn’t acknowledge her former role at RadiumOne, but she is listed as a co-founder of BlueLithium. (A press release from the Yahoo sale lists Chahal as the sole founder, and Krishna Subramanian has also been credited as a co-founder of BlueLithium.) According to her bio, Kaur most recently worked as the general manager of Samsung’s Smart TV platform.

Chahal’s attorney, James Lassart, provided the following statement to TechCrunch:

Ms. Kaur was promoted from EVP to become Chairwoman & CEO of Gravity4 on July 26, 2016, after Mr. Chahal stepped down on his own initiative. Ms. Kaur is a very well-respected person in the online advertising industry, and will be focusing on the continued growth of Gravity4’s international presence in 20 countries, while Mr. Chahal redirects his attention and focuses on the appeal of this matter.  On behalf of Mr. Chahal and considering that this matter is still before the court, I am constrained to comment on the decision in this matter other than to say that a meritorious appeal is imminent.

The CEO switch-up comes as Chahal waits to hear whether he’ll face jail time or an extended probation period after violating his probation. Chahal pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges after attacking a woman in his apartment in 2013 and was placed on three years’ probation. A second woman accused Chahal of assaulting her in September 2014, and a San Francisco judge decided last week that there was enough evidence of the attack to determine Chahal had violated his probation.

Losing his post as CEO must feel like deja vu for the millionaire tech founder. Chahal was also pushed out of his role as RadiumOne CEO after his guilty plea. However, this time Chahal stepped down willingly rather than being pushed out by his board members, according to Lassart. Chahal has removed “CEO” from his LinkedIn, which now only lists him as the founder of Gravity4.

Kaur has been a supportive figure in the courtroom during Chahal’s probation revocation hearings, which have dragged on since April. Chahal surrendered his passports to the court on Monday and a judge will determine his punishment on August 12.

This post has been updated with a statement from Chahal’s attorney.