Pulte Group exec fired after founder’s grandson alleges online attacks

But William J. Pulte, the namesake of the company’s founder, said he had informed the board of directors on Monday that Jones had been carrying out an online campaign — mainly on Twitter — using stolen identities and aliases to accuse Pulte and his family of arson , elder abuse and violations of securities law. On Wednesday, Pulte filed a lawsuit in a Florida court asking that Jones be stopped from further use of online platforms to attack the family and be forced to pay up to $75,000.”My grandfather spent 68 years of his life making sure the company was secure, so I view this as a spiritual mission,” Pulte told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I love this company and the majority of the employees are awesome. But I think you have the potential of some rogue executives that maybe convinced themselves that the rules didn’t apply to them.” It was deleted after Pulte contacted the board of directors this week, Pulte said. “That deletion was very odd.” The suit was filed in a Florida court because Pulte lives in Palm Beach, according to the complaint. Pulte cites tweets that were ostensibly by laid-off employees and others, all he said, actually composed by Jones . At least one post implicitly charged Pulte with manipulating his grandfather. Another suggested that he suspected his father of setting a fire that burned down a country club. None of these things were true, Pulte said. The company his grandfather founded in Michigan in 1950 had revenues of $15.4 billion during the past four fiscal quarters. Pulte was a member of the company’s board for about four years, leaving in 2020. During his tenure, he had lobbed to replace the then-chief executive, who he felt had made choices that undermined the company’s business value. But then, the new CEO, Ryan Marshall, had wanted to make Jones chief operating officer. Jones — who was then running the company’s Michigan division — was not qualified for a top role, Pulte said. It was not a question of personalities, Pulte said. “I would describe my relationship with him as non-existent. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked with him in my life.” During the past year, a series of attacks on Pulte began online, some of them using identities of deceased persons. He hired “a credible third-party forensics” expert, who investigated and concluded that Jones was behind the campaign. Pulte said Jones committed many of these actions while at work and while using company computers. He has asked for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission as to whether regulations or laws have been broken. He has not sued the company, but he did not rule that out. “I am looking forward to getting some answers,” he said.

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