Fired for Going TO SPACE! - The UpStream

Fired for Going TO SPACE!

posted Sunday Aug 1, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Fired for Going TO SPACE!

Want to hear the best termination story you'll ever hear? Well, here we go. Richard "Lord British" Garriott, Ultima creator and coiner of the term Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game created a company called Destination Games. They partnered with NCSoft to release a number of things, most notably Tabula Rasa, a semi-failure of an MMO. At some point, NCSoft bought the company and Garriott was made CEO of NCsoft Austin, also known as NC Interactive.

In 2008, Garriott decided to take his fortunes and go to space, so he hopped aboard the Soyuz TMA-13 and headed to the International Space station for 12 days. While there, NCSoft decided that this was his resignation and posted a resignation letter on the Tabula Rasa website. The only problem is that he didn't write the letter and had had no intentions of leaving the company.

To read the rest of the story and the resulting lawsuit, hit the break.

As part of NCSoft's buyout of Destination Games, there was a clause in his contract that said if he left voluntarily they didn't have to honor his stock options. Well, this "open letter" on the website served as proof that he left voluntarily. His lawyers said,

Because NCsoft mischaracterized his termination as voluntary, Mr. Garriott was forced to sell his stock options 2 1/2 years early, costing him millions of dollars. Jurors found NCsoft liable for breaching the stock option agreement with Mr. Garriott, and awarded him $28 million in damages.

And you thought getting fired from a grocery store for accusing a customer of shoplifting was bad.

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