As we’ve previously reported, there’s an unusual amount of acrimony between lad-mag site Heavy and high school sports site Takkle, predicated by Takkle’s hiring of Heavy’s former CTO, who then poached other Heavy employees. How much acrimony? This week, Heavy.com CEO Simon Assaad sent an emotional email to Heavy staff that accused Takkle of copying Heavy’s design, threatened the company and his former workers with legal action, and encouraged his remaining employees to complain loudly “through whatever forum you feel appropriate.”
We received a copy of the email yesterday. The company does not deny its authenticity. An excerpt below, full text after jump:
“You should not feel shy about letting Frank, Adrian or any of the others at Takkle now how disgusted you are with their cheap and sleazy ripoff…whether directly or indirectly through whatever forum you feel appropriate. If you have direct contact with any of these people you would do us and yourself a favour by not divulging any information to them about what’s going on at Heavy…”
Related: Heavy And Takkle: We Hate Each Other
FULL EMAIL FROM CEO SIMON ASSAAD TO HEAVY.COM EMPLOYEES
(Addresses, phone numbers, etc., redacted)
To the Heavy 300…
Its been an amazing week…for a number of reasons.
Todd Sloan started (new CFO), Scott Penberthy started (new CTO) and Eric Hadley has announced he’ll be joining us October 1st as CMO, overseeing all of Marketing and Sales. Eric is currently Worldwide General Manager of Marketing for MSN…yes, that MSN. The one owned by Microsoft. Eric’s a digital guy through and through and there is a storied history between Eric and Heavy. In our earliest days Heavy created the broadband advertising campaign for the IBM eBusiness launch, and the agency was Ogilvy & Mather. Eric ran that account at Ogilvy. Working together we won the first ever Grand Prix Interactive at the Cannes advertising festival , as well as Two Gold Lions, The One Show and ID Awards. Reunited after 10 years, we expect similar results. Eric is currently based in Seattle and will shuttle back and forth between coasts until later in the year when he and his family will move East. This is an exciting time for us. Growing as a company with these three guys doesn’t mean we lose our innovation, our flair or our drive…but it does mean a tighter focus and even more significant results than we’ve been able to accomplish so far…
In tomorrow’s Ad Age magazine you will find the following story(on page 30) on Heavy’s recent success garnering significant partnership deals with ad agencies (Universal McCann, Group M and Media Storm), as well as get some idea of the significance that hiring Todd, Scott and Eric represents to the broader digital community and our peers. Here is a link, you should all be very proud …the article is very complimentary. Its all about you and your work as a group over the last three years to get us to where we are today. Go to:
On That note some of you in the design, product and technology departments are aware of a company called Takkle. Earlier this year Frank Speiser went to Takkle, and soon after Adrian Roman followed, and others have moved over there including Sam Kaufman, John Goulah, Jeff Lanza and Tishon…(Jireh, you dodged a bullet J). Last week Takkle relaunched their site…and its looks a lot like Heavy. Its clear that Adrian and Frank, and the others took not only what they learnt from Heavy with them, but were unable to add or create anything original of their own, and somewhat pathetically simply copied the Heavy 2.0 product design for their own launch. They have not only breached their intellectual property agreements with Heavy, but they have put their new company(Takkle) in a very precarious position. We are currently exploring all of our options, including legal against both Takkle and everyone of the former Heavy employees at Takkle. We won’t stand for this, and neither should you. You should not feel shy about letting Frank, Adrian or any of the others at Takkle now how disgusted you are with their cheap and sleazy ripoff…whether directly or indirectly through whatever forum you feel appropriate. If you have direct contact with any of these people you would do us and yourself a favour by not divulging any information to them about what’s going on at Heavy…its very clear that none of these individuals are trustworthy nor do they respect any of you or the work you have done to create a unique product and user experience at Heavy. Companies like Takkle build very bad reputations amongst advertisers, investors and the creative, product design and technology community with their actions…when all is said and done the people that count will be those with longeivity…and they clearly have none at Takkle.
I don’t want to end on a bad note…So, Happy Awesome Power! If you haven’t seen the latest Kung Fu Jimmy Chow, check it out…it rocks:
you kick arse Heavy 300…have a great week.