Legal & Courts  May 23, 2024

Ex-Maxar exec files $60M defamation, contract lawsuit against aerospace firm

WESTMINSTER — The former chief financial officer of Maxar Technologies Inc. claims in a recently filed lawsuit that the Westminster-based aerospace and satellite imagery company owes him an estimated $60 million after allegedly enticing him to join the firm with promises of stock that never materialized and defaming him with inaccurate criticisms of his performance. 

“This case is about the erratic and outrageous behavior of a renowned tech investor,” Edward “Mike” Mohn’s complaint, filed this week in Denver County District Court, said in a reference to Shonnel Malani, managing partner of Advent International LP, the private equity firm that bought Maxar last year for $6.4 billion.

A Maxar spokesman declined to comment on the case, while an Advent spokesperson said in an email: “We are aware of a complaint relating to a former portfolio company employee. As we are still examining the claim, we cannot give further comment at this time.”


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Mohn, whose experience includes leadership roles at RTX Corp. (NYSE: RTX), formerly Raytheon Technologies Corp.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Honeywell International Inc. (Nasdaq: Hon), was hired last year after the Advent takeover, and, according to the complaint, was promised that Maxar would “issue him $20 million in fully vested equity” to leave his previous job. 

Before Mohn’s start date, “Advent and Maxar came to learn that the detailed financial projections provided to Mohn (during the recruitment and compensation negotiation process) could not be achieved, but did not inform Mohn,” the lawsuit claims. 

During an “informal in-person board review” in February, “Malani began an erratic and bizarre diatribe against Mohn,” the complaint alleges. “… Malani falsely accused Mohn of causing personal liability to the other board members for failing to provide timely financial information. This was especially bizarre and outrageous because Mohn was preparing to do just that — and also because Maxar had substantially improved the timeliness of its financial reporting function due to Mohn’s efforts.”

These allegedly defamatory statements “did not stop at the board meeting,” the lawsuit claims, and “Malani and others at Advent and Maxar have made numerous additional false statements concerning Mohn along the lines of the false statements at the board meeting” in the months since the February incident. 

Mohn’s suit claims that when he decided to leave the company, Maxar breached his employment contract by deciding that equity accrued over the eight months he was employed was not actually vested until the full completion of the vesting period and that Maxar “could withdraw that equity upon Mohn’s exit at a price in their sole determination.”

Maxar, the lawsuit said, “engaged in a classic ‘bait and switch,’ promising Mohn one thing to get him to work at Maxar, then to switch the terms after he relied on those promises to his detriment.”

The lawsuit accuses Maxar and Advent of “breach of contract, fraudulent inducement and defamation.” Because of the defendants’ actions, “Mohn’s reputation has been destroyed and his prospects for future employment have been ruined in light of defendants’ continuing defamation. “

The complaint asks a court to award Mohn damages that are “reasonably believed to exceed $60 million.”

The case is Edward Michael Mohn Jr. vs. Maxar Technologies Inc. et al. Case number 2024CV31529, filed May 19, 2024, in Denver County District Court.

The former CFO of Maxar Technologies has filed suit claiming breach of contract and defamation.

Lucas High
A Maryland native, Lucas has worked at news agencies from Wyoming to South Carolina before putting roots down in Colorado.
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