Ex-Motorola CFO Claims Whistleblower StatusBy Kathleen A. Martin | Print
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In court documents, former Motorola CFO Paul Liska claims he was fired for warning other executives that there was no viable business plan for 2009. Motorola disputes the charge, stating Liska was a ‘treacherous officer’ who plotted to extort hush money.
Former Motorola chief financial officer Paul Liska claims was fired for advising company officials that the 2009 business plan for mobile devices was built on "unsubstantiated and misleading financial forecasts."
In a lawsuit filed against the telecom equipment and cellphone manufacturer, Liska says he was punished for warning other executives, including co-CEO Greg Brown, that the company had no viable business plan for 2009 and could not effectively forecast revenue and earnings. He described the warnings as "increasingly urgent."
The lawsuit was filed in Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court in Chicago on Feb. 20, the day after Liska was fired by Motorola.
Motorola, the fifth largest cellphone manufacturer in the world with a 6.5 percent market share, is not commenting on the lawsuit. The only public acknowledgement the company is making is that Liska was terminated "for cause."
In court documents released Thursday, Motorola’s lawyers describe Liska as a "treacherous officer." The Chicago Tribune reported that Liska was fired by Motorola for incompetence and misconduct. The newspaper reported that Motorola suspected Liska of plotting to portray himself as a "whistleblower" and was planning to millions of dollars in hush money.
In February of this year, the telecommunications equipment giant announced a massive fourth-quarter loss as it recorded charges reflecting the shrinking value of its cell phone business. During this announcement Motorola also suspended its dividend, remarked on the departure of Liska and offered a lower than expected forecast for the fiscal first quarter.
Liska was with the company for 11 months and did not receive his stock options or signing bonus. In his lawsuit, he’s seeking $1.5 million for unpaid compensation, as well as punitive damages and legal costs, according to court documents.