This year continues to be a tumultuous one for publisher Majesco's upper-level management, as this week the company announced that its interim CEO and chairman of the board Morris Sutton has resigned those positions. Replacing Sutton in the role of interim CEO is his son Jesse Sutton, the company's president. The elder Sutton will once again become the company's chairman emeritus and work on sales and distribution for the publisher of games like Jaws Unleashed, Psychonauts, and BloodRayne.
Morris Sutton came under fire from his own shareholders in March, when a group with nearly 11 percent ownership in the publisher threatened to sue the company, accusing Sutton of ignoring his duty to the shareholders and running the company solely for the benefit of himself and his sons, Jesse and Joseph, the latter being the company's executive vice president of research and development.
"Jesse and Joey Sutton do little to further [Majesco's] business and strategic objectives and have been placed in such high-paying positions of management as a result of Morris Sutton's selfish desire to compensate his own children at the expense of [Majesco] and its shareholders," the group alleged.
This was not the first time the Sutton brothers caused friction for the company. In February, two members of the Majesco board of directors quit the company, explaining in their resignation letters that Morris would not commit to staying with the company if the board of directors insisted that he fire "certain other members of the Sutton family employed by the company." The departing board members explained that Morris' participation in the company was crucial to its success, so they would rather step down to keep him around than force the firing of his relatives and have him quit in retaliation.
After the pair of board members resigned, Jesse and Joseph resigned from the board of directors (then reduced to three people) to ensure that a majority of the board was made up of independent directors. The company has since brought on additional independent board members, and Jesse this week received a reappointment to the board, along with his new title as interim CEO.
Earlier this month, the company's executive vice president of global sales, Dick Wnuk, resigned his post in the company (but stayed on in a consultancy role). Last month saw the resignation of board member Steven Weinstein, who had only been a member of the company's board of directors since April.
Morris Sutton was named the interim CEO in February. His nearly six-month term in the interim position didn't quite match that of his noninterim predecessor, Carl Yankowski. After taking the role of CEO in August 2004, Yankowski stepped down in July of 2005 as Majesco sharply downgraded its financial outlook, losing the company more than 50 percent of its share value in a single day.