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Bungie has to return founders' shares to fired O'Donnell

Composer triumphs in arbitration claim

A Seattle arbitrator has ruled that Bungie must return founders' stock to Marty O'Donnell, who it fired in April of this year.

The results of the preliminary injunction were reported by GamesBeat.

When the company terminated O'Donnell in April they also stripped him of his shares, despite the fact that he only stood to lose them if he left voluntarily and in December 2010 he had signed a contract extending his employment until 2020.

"Bungie terminated O'Donnell's employment without cause on April 11, 2014. Bungie took actions to immediately forfeit O'Donnell's shares. The forfeiture effectively stripped O'Donnell of all rights he would have enjoyed as a holder of shares," says the official court documentation.

Arbitrator Judge Sharon Armstrong those shares be restored along with O'Donnell's rights, despite Bungie's argument that this would make him a "bothersome presence at board meetings and in the company." Bungie can still appeal the decision.

Bungie has already been forced to pay up $95k over the dismissal in a separate lawsuit.

When Bungie first announced O'Donnell's dismissal they claimed the two parties were separating "as friends."

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Latest comments (2)

Aaron Parkes n/a 2 years ago
It would be very interesting to see the real reason he was sacked, the whole ordeal does not seem to be working out for them. Something has happened and now they want him gone despite the costs, media attention and drama over the issue.

O'Donnell has many fans and his music gave Halo an appropriate feel of sci-fi and adventure. Seems so bizarre bungie would sack him without cause.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
I also would like to know the real reason they fired him. It seems as if it was done as a cost-cutting measure but we may never know the real reason, especially if theres some sort of court mandated gag order in place. Regardless, it's obvious that Marty will land back on his feet. I don't think there are many(if any) game studios that wouldn't welcome him with open arms as their new composer.
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